'Am I doing enough?'
This is a question I’m always asking myself and probably the biggest burden I carry since having a stroke in May 2020.
The problem with this question is that its very open-ended, subjective and depends on endless variable factors.
Before I moved to London, I was seeing a physio, chiropractor and sports massage therapist regularly. My focus was very much on my physical recovery because I didn’t have much else to think about.
Since moving out and living independently (plus having more finances to pay) I’ve had to reduce my physio sessions whilst my focus has shifted onto other things. For example - commuting to work,
running my own business and socialising more (all things I was craving SO much whilst I was at home).
But within recent months, my body has been feeling tight and my usual go-to remedies haven’t been working as effectively. As a result, I’m using my arm less and walking doesn’t feel as good as I know it can.
I started to fall into a self-blame mode, telling myself that ‘I’ve let myself down’ ‘I’m not doing enough’ and 'I’m limiting my own potential.'
But this only fuelled the cycle of self-loathing and isn’t very helpful. SO...
I’ve taken a step back and let myself feel the things that have cropped up. By doing this, it's allowed me to gain some perspective. I've recognised that I have been doing enough, it just looks different from what I was used to for the first two years post-stroke whilst I was living at home. I’ve grown in so many other ways and aspects of my recovery, such as my confidence, have accelerated BECAUSE I moved to London.
So what now?
My body’s trying to tell me it needs a bit more attention and now that I am settled, I have the capacity to tune into its new needs and make tweaks to get it feeling as good as I know it can. I'm planning to see a neuro physio more regularly to help keep my focus on the right thing, whilst alternating between monthly sports massages and chiropractor appointments to keep on top of tightness that sometimes can't be achieved myself.
Recovery is a rollercoaster. It’s complex and it is so much more than just the physical side of things. Emotional, social and mental parts of us take just as much of a knock as our physical bodies do. So it’s a constant juggle and some areas will need more attention than others at different stages of your life.
So tune into your needs right now. Keep checking in with yourself over time and adjust accordingly.
You’ve got this!