You absolutely have the power to change your trajectory in the long and twisty path. If you dedicate yourself to your dreams, even those that transcend your stroke and stroke recovery, as a basis for your rehabilitation, you can move mountains. You can achieve the seemingly impossible!
So, ask yourself:
What are you passionate about?
What makes you forget to eat?
What, when doing this thing, makes you feel as free as a bird?
What makes you come alive?
Think about it.
I believe that this journey begins with the survivor sharing their passions with the healthcare professional – and they start working towards this shared vision and goal together.
After your life is saved, dealing with your emotional, mental, and social well-being is paramount. And when the healthcare professionals work together with us, to see us as people – with our own goals and visions and wishes – instead of patients, there is a much greater impact.
If we see ourselves as part of a team, instead of patients and doctors, we perform better, because we’re working off of the same energy.
Now, think about your passion… the one you just visualised a few moments ago…
This passion transcends any illness. Latch on to it! Make room for it.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll find the grit to build a village around you, the guts to make a plan and the moxie to keep following that passion – regardless of what life throws at you.
I realise that implementing this level of care and focusing on an individual's passions in our current healthcare system is challenging because resources are limited, there's a lack of standardisation, and measuring its impact is difficult.
However, it enriches our experience as survivors and I wholeheartedly believe that this is a strong building block to meet us where we are right now!
I see a world where we continue to build on people-centred care and the significant shifts towards holistic and equitable care, with an emphasis on mental health. One where focusing on your deepest interests, and following your dreams, in an all-consuming manner, with your therapists and doctors by your side, leads you to your next version of yourself, your 2.0.
Personally, I have found the approach of Passion-Based Therapy more motivating than putting pegs correctly in the right holes or fishing out objects from the box of beans – stroke recovery staples.
Recovery from stroke or simply trying to live a wholehearted life goes beyond the physical. Shamelessly and brazenly dedicating yourself to your dreams, as a basis for your transformation… this is a game changer.
So, how can stroke survivors transform to the next version of themselves, their 2.0?
From where I’m sitting, it begins with recognising patients as sparkling people with dreams, passions, and potential, involves dedicated effort (the hardest work I’ve ever done), and ends with survivors thriving.
We believe every stroke suruvivor should have access to long-term support that response to their specific recovery goals and their diverse physical, communication and social needs. The Global Stroke Bill of Rights sets out the kind of support that stroke survivors and caregivers have said they would want for anyone who has had a stroke. You can access the Global Stroke Bill of Rights and support our call to action by signing the petition on the World Stroke Campaign website.
About the Author
Stacie Broek is an author, blogger, stroke survivor and mother of three. She is a World Stroke Campaign Committee Member and a member of the European Life After Stroke Forum Scientific Committee You can follow her here: