it’s not a dream

Recently, I was searching for a document.

It meant I had to look through stuff on the computer from before the strokes.

I read the way I joked with the gang.

I saw proof that I handled several large irons in my fire.

People chose me to lead the way (even when I had no idea where we were going).

I won’t be humble.  I was smart.  I was likable.  I was quick.  I made decisions and stuck by them.

There was written evidence of who I was before.

And for all the pride of accomplishment, and my feelings of being further today than yesterday.

What I wish for most was staring me in the face.

I cried at that person who was gone.

I liked being her.

I liked having two working legs and no wheelchair.

I liked being able to make plans for myself.

Not thinking about who is ok with seeing me shower.

I liked being the one that people trusted to get stuff done.

Not the one that people avoided or coddled because I’m damaged goods.

I’d go back if I could.

Change the way things happened.

Make it not occur if it were in my power.

It’s not.

Nothing will change.

Well, it’s changing little bit by little bit, and I’m learning to appreciate that.

It doesn’t mean when I close my eyes at night, I don’t pray for it all to be part of the same, long dream.

That I’ll wake from.


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23 Responses to it’s not a dream

  1. thepsychobabble September 17, 2010 at 7:02 PM #

    I was going to make a joke about offering to help shower and how it’s okay, because I am a PROFESSIONAL shower giver.
    But then I couldn’t decide if it was funny, or just creepy.
    I’ve read your before and after posts. And other than, what, sentence length? I’m not seeing a ton of difference. You were able to move people then, with your writing. To cause tears and laughter. And now? Still do.

    thepsychobabble´s last post…Things that I am good at doing

  2. Shawna September 17, 2010 at 1:48 PM #

    I just want you to know that I started following you on Twitter “before”. And then months later, in the “after” when you followed me back, I cheered a little cheer. Magic wands aside, pining for the past, wishing, dreaming it away. I understand how frustrated you must be but please know that you have been and continue to be a huge inspiration to all of us and especially on the days when we struggle.

    Thank you for being here!

    Shawna´s last post…Renovations

  3. Jessica September 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

    This blog entry is so powerful. So incredibly powerful. You know how it feels to hear the complete pure truth? That’s what I hear from your words. It’s not your ego – it’s not what is expected of you. You are not writing to please someone. You are speaking the truth. And it knocks me out. And even though your blog post stroke changes my world every time I read it, I would give that up in a heart beat for you to be the person you were before. Because you want it so badly. I believe in miracles. I know you believe in miracles. But we don’t always know what the miracle will look like.

  4. Dumblond September 17, 2010 at 11:27 AM #

    What is that saying? “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”
    How about a pass on whatever that is, hm? Can we just continue to be weak? I know I’m a big wimp!
    You continue to inspire. Thank you for being here and giving us noobs a chance to know you.

  5. kim September 17, 2010 at 6:36 AM #

    anissa, i just found your site through facebook and started to read back a little bit. granted, i don’t “know” the “before” or “after” you but what i read just within the last hour or so (yes, i’m at work. but it’s friday so… ;) ) is beautiful, inspiring and funny as sh*t in it’s own unique way. it’s a true gift to make people laugh while tears are running down their face. lots of love from germany! xoxoxo

    kim´s last post…knockknock is this thing on

  6. Mike P. September 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM #

    That whole showering thing is strange. Particularly in the hospital. But, I had some great conversations with people I didn’t know while being completely naked, me married for 14 years, and NOT GETTING IN TROUBLE FOR IT. Strange. And I tell you, I like shower chairs. I can’t imagine why anyone would shower standing up. I can and do when I go to a hotel, but I don’t like it much. And it makes washing my feet hard and sort of dangerous. But, there are tricks you learn after a while.

    Have you worked with a OT? There might be some useful tricks they can teach you that make getting around much safer. When I was in the hospital, the insurance wouldn’t pay for OT, only PT. But, therapy came as a package deal, so I got OT anyhow. And while PT was useful, OT kept from falling and getting hurt later on. Saved the dumb-ass insurance company a ton of money, most likely. Anyone that thinks a for-profit corporation should manage health care insurance is a dumb-ass, does not know what they are talking about, or at a minimum has not had the joy of a really costly event intervene in their life. At least in my opinion.

    Mike P.´s last post…Delaware!!

  7. Sharon Heg September 16, 2010 at 7:50 PM #

    I’m with a bunch of other people who wrote before me. There is much less difference in your style of writing, pre- and post-stroke, than you give yourself credit for. Sure, it’s less words. Smaller sentences. BFD. Your body might not work the same as it used to and your brain might take longer to get the words out (that happens to me too. ALL the time. And I don’t even have the excuse of having had a stroke; I’m just getting freakin’ OLD). But I think that to everyone who’s reading your words, you’re still YOU. Hell, if it makes you feel any better, just know that if you still didn’t make me laugh more often than not (this most recent entry of yours notwithstanding), I wouldn’t have stuck around this long to see the next thing you’re going to say. And that’s the truth. Know why? Cuz I’m an OT and I don’t coddle. So there.

    Sharon Heg´s last post…Rocky Trails &amp Mountie Tales ’10- Day 7- Lake Louise- Moraine Lake &amp “The Last Supper”

  8. Susie September 16, 2010 at 7:37 PM #

    I really hear your frustration, Anissa, because sometimes I wish I could wake up from what I wish was a dream too. I know it’s different than you but mine is being a widow for over 5 years. I’m reminded every night when I get in a king-size bed that’s too big for me and so many other countless times. I wish things were different. Oh, how I wish things were different. But they’re not! So we both must move forward.

    I love when you write down your innermost feelings in such a poignant way. Your words are like a gift to me from 3000 miles away. Now go get
    tomorrow, and I will too…

    • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:54 PM #

      Let’s get tomorrow together, my friend.

  9. Lorrian September 16, 2010 at 7:09 PM #

    Anissa, I hope someday to have the good fortune to meet you.

    I certainly wish I’d discovered your blog for reasons other than that Amalah tweeted about you that day.

    Like Earnest Girl above, I’ve read your before- and after-posts. I truly see very little difference between them.

    More words, maybe, in the before-posts, but your fierce, funny, resolute, loving nature comes through in ALL your posts, be they before or after that damned stroke.

    Sending you virtual hugs today.


  10. Miss Grace September 16, 2010 at 6:51 PM #

    Hey now. I don’t avoid you or coddle you. I just love the shit of you like I have since the day I met you.
    Not literally of course, because….ew.
    Hang in there pretty lady love.
    You’re one of my favorites.

    Miss Grace´s last post…My Uncle Gordon

    • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:51 PM #

      No, you never coddled me. You always treated me as you always did. Thanks for that, sugar tits!

  11. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] September 16, 2010 at 6:29 PM #

    You’re not damaged.

    And I’ll happily see you naked, and I’ll even stuff a $5-er in your bra for it.

    Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last post…This Is not OK- SPAM in My Pocket Edition

  12. mommabird2345 September 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM #

    I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating all this is. Just know that you were amazing then, and you are still amazing now. I’m just glad you are still here being YOU.

    • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:47 PM #

      It is frustrating some days. It just feels like too much for one person to stand. But I will stand it. Today just gets to be THAT day.

  13. Annie Y September 16, 2010 at 5:51 PM #

    Just know that we all love you just the way we are and are happy to still have you!

    Annie Y´s last post…Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue Review

  14. Kristin September 16, 2010 at 5:43 PM #

    If people are coddling or avoiding you, they are screwing up big time because they are missing out on the in-fucking-credible person you are TODAY! Sure, it’s different. Sure, you are different. But, the differences are surface issues. Deep down in the core, you are the same kick-ass, take charge, funny lady you always were. And, you are amazing…not because of what you’ve overcome but because of who you are.

    Kristin´s last post…Blessed are the atheists

  15. Jennifer September 16, 2010 at 5:25 PM #

    I think maybe that the only person who doesn’t see you as the same woman is you.

    Jennifer´s last post…I have a friend

  16. EarnestGirl September 16, 2010 at 5:02 PM #

    i have read both your before words & the after, and believe absolutely that if anyone looked properly at *you*, wheelchair or not, they would see a capable, fiercely brave woman who is, in every way that truly counts, smarter and stronger now than when she had all those irons in the fire.

    EarnestGirl´s last post…Keeping Up

    • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM #

      I don’t know if anyone has ever been as appropriately as you. Thank you.

      • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:43 PM #

        “NAMED”…Named as appropriately….jeez….

  17. Kim September 16, 2010 at 4:50 PM #

    I wish I could wave a magic wand and change so many things and make us all ok. In the meantime I will be here and loving you and enjoying the fact that you’re here, still Anissa, still my friend. XOXO

    Kim´s last post…Winners !!!

    • Anissa Mayhew September 16, 2010 at 10:38 PM #

      I wish you had a wand too. For us both. I love you and having you as a friend is as good as it gets.

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