Posted by: dlip | November 30, 2008

A downward spiral

The problem with the “rat race” that we all run today is that even if you do emerge a winner, you are still a rat which (with due apologies to the bard) by whatever name you give it, smells just as foul.

I find the above parody on the old quotation, which I unlocked from the vaults of my memory bank, to be tailor made to suit the situation of the stroke victim trying his damndest to travel the road to recovery. Lacks motivation? Sure! But whoever said that providing motivation to recover was part of the deal.

Brother you locate or create your own motivation. No outsider can provide it because no outsider can put himself in your shoes. Yes, you sail along the road or river to recovery on the strength of your breeze or wind.

How you create it is entirely up to you. Today I cannot provide tips to that. And speaking of motivation, the worst is the time you find yourself sitting alone in chasms and ravines of depression. These divots are so large they would make the Grand Canyon appear small and insignificant. No ropes! No grapple hooks! No, sadly there’s nothing at hand to help you climb out of these depths.

But then who said this was going to be a joy ride. “Joy”, I haven’t seen that bird in quite a while;  I have even forgotten what it looks like.

My sister, Vinita, died on the 9th of April 2008. She was the youngest of us three siblings. I was told that she had gone in for a minor operation and that while she was on the operating table her heart forgot to do what it was supposed to. She was three years younger than I and she died. I reckon she was the lucky one.

Do I sound depressed? Life in a canyon can get quite tiresome. I used to be quite gregarious prior to the stroke. I enjoyed the company of friends and acquaintances and I think they enjoyed my company.

My social behaviour used to be described as  – gay (not in the modern sense of the word) happy go lucky. I was considered to be humourous and very witty. Of course, all that is a feature of the past, best forgotten and swept under the carpet or whatever.

Nowadays, the behaviour of others towards me at social gatherings is deferential, with a lot of concern, there is a strong hint of being condescending even, patronizing and I hate it with a gusto! Meeting people for the first time used to be a joyful adventure, one to be looked forward to with anticipation. This joy and fervour has now changed to apprehensive concern, bordering on naked fear.

Yes, I’ve changed considerably.

I have sometimes thought of taking up teaching assignments in training institutes near where I live. But then the thought of how the students might view a doddering, shuffling, octogenarian. And the fact that I would be providing a laugh to them with a target for ridicule and derision has quickly put an end to such ridiculous unrealistic aspirations, of an ancient wreck who is half lame, half blind with hardly any speech.



  1. Dahlip, Listen to me carefully, If I have to I will fly to India, find you and bring you back to America to get away from the social stigma you seem to face at home. But if you can (and I could if I were you) I would look people in the face and tell them to go straight to ______.

    I think teaching, or maybe being a tutor might make you feel better. Once again in America that is a good idea……in India you will need to figure that out.

    You are very right–I don’t know how you feel……..but I can come very close to feeling your frustration, fear and disappointment you face. Sure I haven’t met you but from you writings and what I have learned from them you are still the man you were. Sure there are changes in your physical being, but your mind (your essence) ia Dahlip. That can never change in the least.

    My Mother often felt that post stroke people didn’t feel she could even think out or be responsible for herself. No she couldn’t dress herself but until the moment she stopped breathing she still was the same person and knew what was and what she wanted. Please use her as an example……….she never stopped……you should never stop. Keep going Dahlip and if it gets too much for you remember we have a big house!!

    My best to you my friend,
    Keep going and know you are worthy of it!

  2. My dear friend Frank
    You are half a world away and yet you seem to hav made such a connection with me. I thank you for your words of encouragement and friendship. You are a truly good person. But let me assure you that I don’t always feel this way. I have a loving and caring family – my son and daughter have been marvellous, throughout my disability, my wife is caring and supportive, although we do have our differences :-)! You are more than welcome to come to India – not to take me back with you, but for a holiday! My blog merely reflects moods I go through, and perhaps I was feeling particularly low at the time. In a canyon there is alsways the sky above, and every cloud really does have its silver lining, even though sometimes that can be hard to find.
    Thank you so much for your support

  3. Dalip, ones who experience the lowest lows also have the bluest skies to look forward to. There could be a million reasons to believe there is no hope, but a billion more to look up at the wonderful family and friends you have who want to walk with you every step of the way on the uphill path. There are so many silent voices who are whispering “you can do it”, one step at a time.

    Love and all the best.

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