Updated: Jan 28, 2022
Winter weather makes me think of sitting by a hot fire, drinking cocoa, and listening a good book. What do you think of when the snowflakes are falling down?
Let's dive a little deeper. When you had your stroke, did you think of yourself as a victim of stroke, a survivor, or a warrior? Did the way you thought and talked about your story change over time?
A stroke victim, a stroke survivor, or a stroke warrior?
The way you think about yourself creates your reality. When you hear someone talking about being down, you lose momentum yourself. Do you always talk about being blue? If you talk about it, you must be thinking about being down even more. If you have aphasia and don't talk much, your thoughts are still the same as words. Your thoughts create reality.
Although I had certainly heard about how you speak to others matter my whole like, I didn't really think about what it meant personally. Then I attended a presentation by Susan I. Wranik, MS, MA, CCC-SLP where sho talked about this very thing. Susan said that she is very particular about not using words that condition negative feeling about age. You know . . . instead of "senior moment" she uses "retrieval delay". Or maybe you want to try "give me a moment instead of "I forgot".
Those words shifted my reality. My husband describes his aging in a manner that is a little disturbing to me. He is only 60 years old, but sometimes I feel as if he is much older. Then it hit me about strokes. How a person relates to their stroke impacts their own reality on life. It is the same thing.
What happens when you think of aphasia? Do you think that you are stuck with where you are, or can you get around it? Believe in or not, you can get around it. I know, because I spent years not being able to share my true thoughts.
What do you think of when you consider your stroke? I used to say "stroke victim" sometimes, although if asked I would have said I was a survivor. I think, deep down, I used to think of myself sometimes as a victim without ever acknowledging that thought out loud.
In fact, stroke victim snuck its way into my book, Stroke Forward, a couple of times. Fortunately, it has been a few years since I have had "victim" in my personal vocabulary. What words do you have in your vocabulary that you may want to weed out?