I live in prison

I had a stroke almost 4 years ago.  I wish I didn't survive. I now I'm pretty much just living in prison.  I'm not depressed. I'm bored with nothing to do.  I'm legally blind and cannot drive and I have aphasia so I am now disabled.  So I used to be very independent, very high level, completing my doctorate. Now?? I am home alone, every day. And I watch TV, all day. Alone.  About 17 to 18 hours a day.  Nothing to do. No place to go. That's all I have. My place was to think of retiring when I was 75 years old.  So now...only in my 50s....I have no life. Nothing of value.  I used to drive everyplace.  I used to do a lot alone.  Now??  I have nothing.   The stroke should not have survived. 

Dear Jacqueline, so sorry to hear about the predicament you find yourself in. I would encourage you to contact the stroke association via email and find out about your local group, they can really be a lifeline  especially at the moment when groups are not running. When things get back to normal the groups are sociable place to go to and you can make new friends and get out of the house a bit more. This site is great for friendship and advice, it really helped me in the months following the stroke, so reach out on here, we're all looking out for each other you don't need to be alone. Here if you need to chat about anything. 

Hello Jacqueline, isolation can cause rumination which has become counterproductive for you, even if we live with people it can be very lonely inside our heads. Well done on getting your PhD, I completed an MPhil while, unbeknownst, experiencing six TIAs over three months. I had plans to follow up with a doctorate but have had to put that on the backburner for now. What did you do your thesis on? I am very pleased to hear that you are not depressed, but bordom can lead to a state of ennui which can mimic depressive symptoms. 

Sometimes, I have thought about my future, and the road ahead of me with its limitations, and now daily struggles. Before my stroke, life ahead was ambitious and trouble free (relatively), having a stroke puts a spanner in the works. However, to some degree we need to find peace within ourselves in order to resume in some capacity. I am not always positive about the future but I try not to let it make me pessimistic. Social interaction is very important, unless one is naturally misanthropic, and then I would recommend pets, as animals keep one on one's toes and provide social comfort. Here, in Wales, we have an organisation called Mind (https://www.mind.org.uk), they provide mental health services for stroke survivors. You may have a similar organisation that can help. Mind provides social activities and the like. I also attend two online video sessions a week through Community Steps which brings together stroke survivors, face-to-face meetings are also starting up soon. These kind of things can help you with stimulating your life outside of yourself, even if you have aphasia, as we have several people who join the sessions who have aphasia. 

I don't know about you, but I love gardening which keeps me busy. When I first got out of hospital I was given a couple of bonsai trees because I couldn't leave the house. I also make terrariums which gives me indoor gardening projects. You wrote that you are legally blind, how are you with books? I am an avid reader, and make it a routine to read every night as it stimulates a different part of the brain as opposed to telly. I also have started painting miniatures, something I did as a child, bringing back a childhood hobby can be cathartic.

Many people associate driving with independence, that's true for them, but for me I've never liked it, and am secretly pleased I don't have to drive again. I ride my pushbike instead, and I have always enjoyed trains and busses more as it gives me time to explore places and observe things. It's also good for the environment, so consequently, our not driving is "two less cars". Although, the Citreon Ami kind of appeals to me. 

Do please keep in contact with us all on the forums, most of us log into it regularly, and even in a small way, this can help augment social interaction. 

Thank you for your response. My doctorate was in nursing.  I was focused in risk management and patient safety and provided care for 125 physicians and 875 employees and I *loved* every minute.  At first, with my stroke, I was unconscious. My daughter was told by the neurosurgeon that unfortunately I wasn't going to survive. The next day, I was still alive, so they decided to do brain surgery.  So...here I am!!  But I can't work anymore or be nurse anymore.   I appreciate hearing some of your discussion of "life" now after having a stroke.  It definitely takes time to process it and slowly just think about it all. 

Hi! Thanks for replying!! I do go to a counselor (even though is seems very repetitive ?) ....I'm trying to do the "right" thing.  It's is just overwhelming/frustrating/tiring/angering when your life goes upside down when you have a major stroke.  Even though mine is now going almost 4 years, it is still changing how life is....

Hi Jacqueline

Sorry to hear about how your stroke has affected you and your life. I too am 4yrs post stroke. Do you have any friends or family who could visit you and take you out for a coffee or sit outside in a beer garden and have a drink?  

Regarding your eyesight, do you feel you would be able to cope with audio books? I am looking into this myself. Although my stroke didn't affect my eyes, I can no longer read as keeping my head down makes me dizzy and I can't keep track of what I'm reading. Consequently, I have to re-read everything 3 times before it sinks in which makes me too frustrated.  I also have difficulty turning pages over. I do love the radio though especially Classic FM and the Country & Western channels.

After the 19th July, there should be some normality creeping back into our lives so I echo what others have said and do get in touch with the Stroke Association who can arrange for meet ups with people with similar issues so you won't feel so isolated.  We are all here for you so don't feel you are on your own.

Hi sorry to hear about your situation prayers with you des

Hi Jacqueline,  this is a wonderful site ? you will always find someone who can relate to your situation, and they will generously offer support and encouragement.  I hope you make progress through this horrible period of your recovery, it's a roller coaster that no-one wants to ride.  Keep posting and venting !!! 


I live alone so experience days of no conversation or interaction. I have my vision for which I'm thankful. I recognise nothing I write will make your position better. Maybe conversations will lighten your day. Good wishes.

Hello Serin, I see a beautiful feline on your profile picture, so you not entirely alone? wink

Indeed, Pud is never far away smiley

You are here for a reason! Find out what it is. You DO have a life, and likely, many, many years left of it.  It's up to you what you do with it.  Find out if there is a Dial-a-ride service or something available.  My sister, who is 80, never had a car. and her vision is very poor.  Her whole life she got around by Dial-a-ride, bus or taxi.   She did appointments, mall shopping, and senior center activities all that way.  Get taken to a senior center a couple of times a week.  Take a class there, have lunch, meet people.  Learn braille. There are bowling clubs, book clubs and social clubs for the blind in the UK.  Find others who are suffering and in similar circumstance and give them your ideas, experience and friendship.  A little TV is OK,  BUT if you spend your life in front of the TV, your life will SEEM as though it has nothing of value.  I go to the senior center and take a ukelele class.  There is a blind lady in the class.  There is also a gentleman in it who has aphasia.  Decide today that you're not going to be alone anymore, and find some people who also need a friend.  Well,  I'll get down off my pulpit now.  I prayed for you last night, and I'll remember you in my prayers tonight.smiley Love, Jeanne