I sent out a tweet not long ago asking “If you had to handwrite your blog, would you still blog?”
I was surprised by how many people said that having to write out their posts would shut them down faster than a fat kid runs to cake.
I’ve journaled since I was a child and my words only formed in pictures. Sharing my emotions on paper served to help me cope with painful experiences and to hold the memories of greatest happiness.
I always loved to write.
The crappy thing is?
I know that if I ever lost my ability to pound it out on a keyboard and have my words magically appear on a screen I’d stop.
Not because I’m lazy. Which I am.
And not because keeping stacks of notebooks and binders of pages is a space-eater. Which it is.
But because I just couldn’t.
That stupid stroke.
I’ve written about overcoming mental hangups of the long-term effects of my stroke. Not all of them are capable of being overcome. Yet.
I’m not embarrassed to have to tell people I had a stroke, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But I hate some of the lingering effects it had on me…things that would be unnoticeable or unextraordinary to the casual observer…but they hurt me to know that it’s not how I used to be.
I have to nap….not fun sneaky little sleep intervals…but I HAVE.TO.NAP.
I can’t walk long distances before noticing that my right leg is tired.
Let’s not even get into the memory issues. I’m not sure I’ve gotten past that enough to talk about it right now.
I sometimes have to stop mid-sentence because the word I’m searching for disappears….especially irritating when it’s something I should absolutely know…like my kids’ names.
But, the worst for me, is my writing. My handwriting that went from decent to painfully childlike to legible.
My right hand no longer does what I want it to when I put a pen to paper. I write a check and, even four years later, it still looks like a stranger’s signature.
I struggle to sign out our 100 Christmas cards each year, and the addresses? Don’t even talk to me. Some have come back returned and I throw them in the trash because I can’t stand to look at them. (Sorry if you didn’t get a card last year!! There was also a stamp issue last Christmas, but let’s not talk about it)
It’s a constant reminder of my body’s weakness and how there are things that will never be right again. It feels like a betrayal of all the work I put into physical and occupational therapy so I could be normal and not-broken at 30 years old.
It ticks me off that I can’t get over it. That I look at a stack of forms for the kids’ schoolwork and dread it. That I will type out a note to the teacher and print it so that I don’t have to struggle with making it look nice and neat. That I take the time to make copies of anything I have to fill out so that if it’s a mess when I’m done I have a backup.
I am WELL aware that it could be so much worse than it is.
Most days? That’s enough to make me not care.
Other days it still matters. It matters a lot.
It’s MY hand…and MY signature that’s gone…and MY inability to indulge in the simple pleasure of opening a fresh diary and putting down my thoughts.
I’m thankful that I have a computer and can still journal.
But there are times that I miss the comfortable feel of the pen.