Insecure Writers Support Group – WRITING and RECOVERY

Hello my fellow writers. It’s the first Wednesday of the month and we know what that means:

Click on the Image to Join!

Click the Image to Join!

It’s time for another meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group – #IWSG.

The amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh founded this amazing group and it has become THE PLACE to go if you are an insecure writer.

It’s also the first anniversary of the IWSG website which has been an inspiration and godsend to many of us.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 1 special anniversary posting of the IWSG will be Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue!

Title: Writing and Recovery.
Topic: Writing
Bio: Eva E. Solar, former EMT, brain hemorrhage/stroke survivor and writer on a mission to be published. My Miracle Life and lilicasplace
Permission Granted to include post in IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond.

 

I have had a love of writing since I can remember. In elementary school, I would write and illustrate my own storybooks to read to my ‘class’ of stuffed animals and Barbie dolls.
I always thought my career would involve writing in some way, but that didn’t exactly happen. I raised a daughter as a single mother and worked as an Executive Assistant in Corporate America until 2000. After losing my dad in March, 2000, I became an Emergency Medical Technician. I lost my mother a year later.

I dedicated over a decade to helping the sick and injured, until November 2011, I became one of the sick. Standing up from a sitting position, I felt a heat rise from my lower body to the back of my neck and snap like a rubber band; it was the worst pain I ever felt, yet it only lasted about 30 seconds. Immediately, I felt nauseated. My former roommate drove me to the local Emergency Room. Halfway there, I was semi-conscious and seizing. Thankfully, no time was wasted pulling over to call 911; she just kept driving.

A CT scan revealed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage in my brain. Since the hospital was local and not equipped for a brain hemorrhage, they flew me to a Level 1 Trauma Hospital. I had brain surgery the following morning. I suffered an ischemic stroke during surgery, a common side effect. I spent nearly a month in neuro-surgical ICU fighting for my life; my left side was useless, my speech was impaired, and my memory, focus, and concentration were severely shot. After ICU, I was sent to an inpatient rehabilitation facility where I spent another month, learning how to use my left side, to speak, walk, concentrate, and focus again.

‘What does any of this has to do with writing?’ is a question you might ask yourself. In my world it means everything. My writing is what keeps me going. I am still recovering; my brain is still recovering. I can walk now, slowly, mostly without the assistance of any mobility devices. I speak fluently now unless I’m distressed, then I tend to stutter. Badly. My attention span, focus, and concentration have improved, but I work on it constantly. Writing helps. It makes me focus. It makes me concentrate. People look at me and don’t see any visible signs of brain injury. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sometimes they need to be reminded, gently. Writing allows me to do that. It allows me to write out possible teaching moments when I can’t find the words to express what needs to be said verbally.

It is one of the first things I made myself relearn once I started stroke rehab. My Speech therapist encouraged and helped me with it, as did my Occupational and Recreational therapists. I cannot work outside my home, not yet, anyway. I struggle to get better physically, emotionally, mentally, cognitively, and spiritually. One thing is certain, I never give up, ever. I consider myself too lucky to have gone through so much to think anything is beyond my capabilities. I cannot and will not let this disability define who I am, and neither should any other writer who has a dream like mine. Let nothing or no one stop you.

  1. Do what you can, when you can.
  2. If lists help you organize your day, then make one. Every task checked off that list is something to be proud of. Remember that.
  3. Take multiple breaks. Sitting in front of the computer without taking breaks will actually hinder you, not help you.
  4. Eat right, even if it is multiple small meals a day. Taking care of yourself is top priority if you want the energy to put out stories that others will enjoy.
  5. Stay hydrated. Drink, drink, and drink plenty of fluids.
  6. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. This is a difficult one for sure for anyone who suffers chronic and neuropathic pain as I do. Do your best. During one of your multiple breaks, squeeze in a nap if you can.
  7. Surround yourself with positive people. No matter what it takes or how long, find a positive support system. During my deepest depression when my real life support system failed, I found my fiercest support online until I was able to find my freedom. This small group is now a part of my extended family. Find yours. It will make all the difference.
  8. Most important, believe in yourself. I have the encouragement of family,  a miniscule number of faithful friends, and some very special blogging friends that believe in me. I believe in you.
 I am not only a writer, I am also a survivor.
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About My Miracle Life

I'm a writer, blogger, avid reader, book reviewer, sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and stroke survivor, moving forward in my recovery and trying to advocate for stroke and brain hemorrhage awareness and prevention. I'm also slowly working towards independence, driving, my first novel, a memoir and a series of short stories. I've been lucky to have a very small network of close friends to guide me; I've been even luckier to have found an online 'family' of sorts to help me through the rough times.
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9 Responses to Insecure Writers Support Group – WRITING and RECOVERY

  1. Karen Soutar says:

    You go girl! Your story is inspiring and I wish you all the best, with your continued recovery and writing journey. xx

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    • Girl, you’ve been one of the few that’s been in my corner since Day 1 that I started lilicasplace. I start this one and you cheer me on here too. Friends like you are few and far between. If I can at any point in time travel overseas by your way, I will make it a point for us to meet. Know that you will always be welcome in my home. 😀 Sophie said she’ll even deal with Frodo if she has too. (((Hugs)))

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  2. Great tips! I do make lists… not always, though. I tend to lose them, which kind of defeats the purpose of having the list in the first place LOL.

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    • I have a bad tendency of doing that as well. I have a non-erase board on the fridge with a magnetized notepad. I also keep a mini-notepad in my purse to take notes as I need to. Since I’m in PA alone now, I’m making it a point to get out more and make friends, something I wasn’t allowed to do before. That’s going to be a huge help until I figure out my next steps. Always love hearing from you! Eva

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  3. Al Diaz says:

    You are an absolutely AMAZING girl, Eva. You are brave and strong beyond imagination. When I was extremely sick, I also used writing as a tool to help me keep on going. I think I would have died without it. And you know we are here for you with lots of cheering and lots of dragon hugs!

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  4. You take away all excuses, Eva. Sorry you had to go through such an experience and still continue to deal with it every day, but your attitude about it is amazing and it obviously made you stronger.
    And I promise, I do stay hydrated! I drink five to eight bottles of water every day.

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    • Thanks Alex. The hemorrhage was that major life event that put the fire under my butt to start writing again. As for my attitude, eh, I try to stay as positive as I can, but I have my days…Pain levels generally dictate what kind of day I’m going to have. Thanks for the visit Ninja Captain. Hugs. Eva

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  5. I have a very close friend who is in recovery from a stroke she had a year ago. I want her to read your post because to me, you are so very inspiring. Your attitude, your belief system, in yourself and your abilities, is truly awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this Eva!!!

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