The Same Boat

I just made my breakfast this morning, when I came back in the lounge I caught the end of breakfast TV. A couple of guests, I think they must have been talking about when they met. There was a clear memory that then met two years ago on October the such-and-such.

One of the guests goes on, The thing about addiction is that you just feel so on-your-own. Okay, so the first thing, I knew that these women were on to talk about an addiction of some kind. The second thing was this feeling of isolation.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it doesn’t just apply to addiction. Whenever someone feels that there is something “wrong”, something “abnormal” (one day I shall write about my love of the word normal!), about them, they always feel as though they’re the only people going through that experience. Out on a limb again – they’re not!

But, society has evolved to the point where we sit in our little hutches and consume what the the broadcasters throw at us… And that fodder is mostly aimed at people who aren’t “wrong”, or “abnormal”. You have to go hunting for people who share your specific interest.

After the stroke, I spent months on the sofa thinking that nobody else could possibly be going through what I was going through. With hindsight, I know that was rubbish. The computer was a great enabler, although at the start I had no interest even in firing it up. And social media – we can have great debates about whether social media is good or bad, I know as a stroke survivor that Facebook was a lifeline, enabling me to meet other people who were also living the dream.

When I was strong enough to leave the house, I found a local coffee group – again, people in the same boat. I’m still quite upset that the group eventually folded, precisely because we’re a few less “people in the same boat” for a new survivor to discover. Attending the group was never really about individuals, much more because the group itself was a beacon. That’s also the reason I still visit the hospital ward, though other people obviously don’t see things the way I do.

So, please, if there’s something you’re affected by, there will likely be other people in the same situation, but you will have to pro-actively go looking for them. So get searching!

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

8 thoughts on “The Same Boat”

  1. You are so right. Sadly, there are some situations where there really is no one in ecen nearly the same boat. It’s so good if you CAN find such a group though. I did manage to go to a WEA Writing Group after being in remission for a while. It didn’t address my situation at alk, but it did give me some like minded company. I feel that you and share some similarities, though mine was not a stroke. The getting going again. Switching on the computer again. Probably other things too, like loss. Loss of what we once were. I too. Found WP to be a blessing. Facebook, not so really. I liked this post very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found Facebook useful for a period, just to find other people. Less so now, more really as my interests have expanded. I enjoy politics, but there are many people on there who are only too ready to tell you what an arsehole you are, because they happen to believe something different. I’m not prepared to put up with that – I’m not sure the stroke even comes into it, it’s certainly not something I used to disclose because I don’t think it’s relevant. But the whole thing puts me off Facebook altogether. I have to date found WP a far more polite environment. So far. One guy posted the other day that he got an email telling him he was a motherfucker because he dared to criticise Trump in something he posted.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. But yeah, I tend to see us all as little bubbles, we overlap to a greater or lesser extent. Or sonetimes, not at all. We have no real idea what it would be like to spend a whole day in each others shoes, although obviously some of the mini-struggles are identical.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are so right. I would think that even amongst other stroke survivors there would be differences. So you are so right in what you say. It is nice, though, when we DO find a point of cotact with somebody, even if only fleetingly. I too feel very alone actually. But we allare in the end aren’t we!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think at the coffee group, we had one guy who was chairbound, one who’d lost his peripheral vision, one who didn’t really have any obvious signs, apart from his voice. He couldn’t talk to devices, make use of them, in the same way that I do. Then there was me – hobbling wounded – I know my eyes worsened too but I van get by.
          Fatigue was pretty common, although we felt it to different extents. I’ve noticed recently that Mrs is telling me to slow down when I walk, which is something she used to do before.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It is good that you had that group. We have nothing in our town. We are a backwater, and tend not to have the things that many other towns have. Sadly our Writing Group folded. There is nothing else. It can be a very very lonely path, which I personally am ng at the moment. That is why I write so much poetry, and sometimes tend to post rather a lot in here. We just have to find a way of getting by, don’t we. For mtself, I am glad of your presence here, and for your posts.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Yes, I do think that restarting the group would be the right thing to do, but if I did that I’d have to be prepared to sit on my own in a coffee shop for the duration if no-one else turned up. I might even be prepared to do that if the coffee shop were next door, but it is a five-hour roundtrip into Salisbury on the bus. I don’t mind taking five hours out of my day, but not if I’m going to sit there on my own – I can be far more productive by working at home.

              The old group was very much turn up / don’t turn up but I think I’d want a firmer commitment from people that they would at least attempt to turn up regularly. When just one or two of us attended, we soon ran out of conversation!

              Liked by 1 person

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