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Impossible? It’s All in the Way You Think about It

I have realized that things are very different from the stroke survivors point of view. If you are like me, things that used to be done without thinking are tough to do. . . or impossible at first.

Here’s a different way of looking at impossible.

I’m possible.*

Sit for a minute and think about what you really want to do.

I used to think about my aphasia (an acquired communication disorder). The fact that I could think of what I wanted to say and still not be able to say those words were maddening. It felt like a piece of me went away every time I couldn’t speak. But, I kept trying.

I went to Career-Confidence so that I could find a job. It wasn’t long before I realized that it was my speech that was the problem, not what I knew about how to get a job. So, I joined a local meetup of business people so that I could practice speaking. Some days were better than others, but by-and-large, I still struggled every day. Then I joined Toastmasters International. There, too, my speech was lacking. I knew what I wanted to say, but most times I couldn’t say the words. Argh!

It wasn’t until I found a doctor who practiced medicine a little differently from the norm that my aphasia started to get better. He only got me about 1/2 way there. So, I looked again. Surprisingly, I found a different doctor who took me all the way. He also looked at his practice from a unique angle, and took a different path with me.

Today, I can speak normally! I feel blessed to know these doctors. Because of them, and because I practiced at Toastmasters, I learned to become the new me. The person who is sometimes afraid, but still tries.

What am I doing now? I am turning my book, Stroke Forward: How to become Your Own Healthcare Advocate . . . One Step at a Time into an audiobook.

That’s scary. A few years ago I couldn’t do it because of my aphasia. Two years ago I still didn’t think I could do it because of the way I “thought” about it. Last December I started thinking, “Maybe I can record my book. There is something special when authors record.” I took a class from Derek Doepker. Because of his training and encouragement, I began thinking “I’m possible.”

This year I have cleared out a bedroom and started recording. I send a sample to Derek, and he said I had to try again. So, I did. I sent him a second sample, and Derek gave me a thumbs up.

Did you know that up to 40% of people who have had strokes have aphasia? That’s why I am in the process of recording my book. They can learn about some ways that I overcame it . . . and hopefully they can, too. It might be through the methods I used. It may be through something else. How they to overcome aphasia doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they try. Sometimes they have to try again, and again, and again.

Another thing I learned from my stroke is patience. I am willing to look at other methods when one doesn’t work the way I want.

So . . . what do you want to do that seems im-possible?

*Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

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