Excerpted from "The Secrets of Success," Stroke Connection January/February 2004
Survivor Art Gottlieb says, "Accept and move on positively". But how? How does one go about accepting this “new norm”? And isn’t there a fine line between “accepting” and giving in, or worse, giving up? It seems that accepting may be allowing things to be what they are in this moment, and at the same time knowing that there is always potential to work for them to get better.
“Simple,” said Kate Adamson, a mother of two, author and advocate in California, “just live in the moment, stay in the moment. Learn to laugh about it and keep humor in your life.”
“I feel it’s being successful at compromising, because every day is a compromise. We just live differently,” said Sherry.“There are other ways of saying it, too,” said David Layton, who loves sailing and lives in North Carolina. “It’s recreating ourself, looking ahead at what can be rather than looking back at what was. I’ve always felt this was far out, but in a way, it is kind of true. It is ultimately being able to feel the stroke was not a disaster, but something from which you have benefited.”
Comedian John Kawie of New York City told a story that illustrates how he became aware that he had accepted his stroke: “Success kind of hit me in the head a while ago when I walked into a Starbucks and a little boy asked, ‘Why do you walk like that?’ I said that I was hurt a while ago. He said, ‘Are you okay now?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’
For me that was success. I made it over the hump. I didn’t feel any animosity, I didn’t feel any embarrassment, really accepted it. I kind of surrendered to it a little. Normally people would stare at me in that situation and I would get mad. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I really reacted okay.’”