In November of 2014, my life rocked! I was in the best shape of my life, and I had the best health I’d ever had.
I was running a horse-boarding facility and mastering a heavy, physical workload while still running another business. On November 12th, everything changed in less than a moment. I had a massive stroke due to a hole between the chambers of my heart that didn’t heal after I was born.
Now I know this is a common problem in as much as 30% of the population, while at that time I was unaware it was even a possibility. The afternoon it happened, I’d overworked myself, which caused my heart to throw a clot. By 10pm that evening, I was fighting for my life.
My recovery was hard. I am coming up on my one year anniversary and have a lot to share about my experience. I want to share how I have made a full recovery—in less than 10 months—from an unthinkable, almost tragedy. Because if my words help one person, then my excruciating path served a purpose.
Whether we are recovering from illness, disease or abuse—there are subtle commonalities that all speak the same truth. Recovery has many common threads, but there is one that will carry us through.
Love yourself first.
Self love is not just about taking bubble baths and eating chocolate. (Although, both bubble baths and chocolate are equally delicious.) Self love can be silent, sad, full of tears or full of anger. Self love can wear many colors because we are all unique and need different aspects to heal.
The truth is, when we are going through absolute hell to recover, it can make other people so uncomfortable in their skin, that some might try to tell you that you aren’t experiencing what you are experiencing.
Some will try to stand in the way of your expressing the hell that you are in. Some will deny your hell exists.
Pay them no mind.
The only way out is through.
Take the time, with no excuses, to feel everything you feel.
Wallow in it.
Don’t swallow it.
Talk with someone who understands.
There are no rules.
Just give yourself the space and permission
to heal and feel.
Love yourself first.
Eat like you love yourself.
Talk like you love yourself.
Walk like you love yourself.
Act like you love yourself.
The only way to transform pain is to move it through you, in any way you can.
Feeling and expressing your pain is an act of self love.
It may not be pretty, but it is what your soul requires from you.
After my stroke, I decided it was my time.
It was my time to heal, to read, to be, to cry, to throw firewood, to feel my anger, to feel whatever-the-hell-I-felt and transform the pain through me and out of me.
I refused to let anyone try to stop me. (And they did try to stop me because they didn’t understand.)
I paid them no mind.
I’m only 41 years old. I am the healthiest person people know in my circle and probably the most stubborn.
My stroke scared everyone. And it should have.
My story should scare everyone into appreciating their life every day, because one never knows when our physical body will take its last breath. Leave this life loving yourself.
“You must love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” ~Dodinsky
Author: Wendy Rae
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina