The guilt and imposter syndrome

For months now I’ve been wanting to contribute here, and also to chat about my own experience. The truth is, though, that the reason I haven’t is that I feel like an imposter.

I read the heart-rending post by @Hollie where she describes the demoralising effect of hearing other people’s successes and recoveries, and this wonderfully worded statement in a reply by @DeAnn explains exactly why I haven’t yet: I, too, feel the imposter syndrome/guilt.

I feel such sadness (and so much hope!) for folks who are struggling through their recovery. I’d want to describe my own experience, phenomenal recovery and so many regained abilities because I’m so glad I’m still here, and so glad I’m mostly back to ‘normal’.

I want folk to know that it is possible that things will get so much better.

Yes, there are loads of reminders that things aren’t the same as ‘before’ for me, but considering where I was, in a hospital bed in July 2019, to where I am now reminds me that a recovery can be incredible.

I dip in here to the forum frequently. It helps me when I have my low days; there is so much good advice here.

I just wish I didn’t feel like such an imposter when I want to talk about my trivial issue and there are real people out there suffering with much bigger issues.


Oh you are so wrong to feel like an imposter, so wrong!

It is so great that you have recovered so much, as have I. And it’s people like you and I who give hope to the new stroke warriors on this forum. Let them know it’s not necessarily a life sentence of doom, gloom and despair. Sharing your story gives them hope for their own recovery. And don’t forget, your own “trivial issues” might not be so trivial to someone else.

So please, share you issues, your highs and lows, because what you share sparks others contributions which will always be of benefit to someone out there…maybe someone who only has the ability to read, maybe someone much like yourself who’s feeling a fraud and hasn’t plucked up the courage to ask.

The truth is, you will always be a stroke survivor no matter how much you recover. And your contributions will always be of help to someone. :people_hugging:


@bam i echo @EmeraldEyes. Never feel like an imposter for recovering well from your stroke. We want to hear your story too. You’ll be full of valuable advice for others & it will give people hope that life can be ok after stroke.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

Best wishes



I want to hear your story! The people here were gave me hope for a future as well as the inspiration to keep working toward getting better. They have seen me through a bout with deep depression and encourage me with their wisdoms in exercise, gratefulness, mindfulness, humor, hobbies, kindness.

I am certain what you share touch someone else in the same ways, and hopefully be helpful to you as well. Sometimes just getting it out in speaking or writing is helpful to us all.

Thank you for speaking up now.


I love hearing about people’s stroke successes, in fact I make a habit of touching base with people who are in a similar situation to me and have also experienced a stroke. I am an experienced horse rider and it is my life, I can’t imagine being without it. I have now contacted 4 or 5 other equestrians so I can compare their struggles and successes with my own. We are friends now and probably will be for a long time. Success stories give me hope that I will make a full recovery and I need that more than anything else. I don’t feel guilt that I am, perhaps, less affected by the stroke than others. To me, it’s by far the worse thing that has happened and I’m not an imposter.


Thank you all for the wonderful replies, you’ve all given me some really good stuff to think about.

Saying we’ll always be stroke survivors is amazingly insightful, and knowing recovering well is possible should give hope to others. I’d like to spread that info.

And the knowledge that having a stroke was the worst thing to ever happen to me, and look at where I’m now, is a delightful thought to have popped into my head.

Thank you all so much.


I can only agree with the others who have posted, your story is so important and valuable to others. I also have a bit of imposter syndrome as physically I have made a good recovery but still struggle with fatigue, anxiety and accepting the ‘new me’.

I felt really inspired by the last paragraph in your most recent post, on a day I’m feeling low - so thank you :blush:




Never feel like an imposter or feel that guilt—as we all have different experiences and different timelines for recovery. I love to hear about everyone’s experiences as they are all so helpful and inspiring. I learn something every time I come to the forum and feel blessed to have this platform. Still fighting head pain and speech issues but every day is a new day and time to challenge myself to keep learning and understanding how I can keep trying to improve. God bless you all!


I feel it is beneficial to be as authentic as one can, I felt envy for the first year of rebuilding when I encountered other stroke survivors who appeared on the surface as having taken less of a hit than myself, but soon adjusted my way of thinking as stroke is one of the most subjective injuries one can suffer as it is the brain that has incurred the damage - the very thing that is the state of our individual subjectivity. Remarkably, I have endured the imposter label by some extended family members who have acted towards me as if I had merely suffered a migraine. They’ve spent time attempting to unmask me and at times I find this quite difficult to deal with.


That’s shocking.

I guess I’m biased because I’ve seen it from this side of the fence.

But while I wouldn’t expect anyone who’s never experienced it to understand, I’d have no time for them having no respect for my journey through recovery.


Seriously? :astonished: What century do they live in :flushed:
I’m really lost for words this time. :face_with_diagonal_mouth: :pensive:


Quite difficult?!?!??!

Me too.

I’ll have to let a polar bear speak for me…


Premium Vector | Cartoon angry polar bear mascot


Indeed, it has prompted me to begin seeing a psychotherapist, after a comment was directed to me that my time spent rebuilding after stroke was a “cushy life”. I understand that there are all types of personalities in this world, and some shouldn’t cross paths but circumstances don’t always allow for this convenience.


Aye, I have added growling to my vocabulary too.


It beggars belief sometimes what people say. I hope it is out of complete ignorance rather than malice but that doesn’t make it any better.

I would simply respond & say if you think it’s so cushy then perhaps you’d like to change places. I often say to people who would want to live like this. It’s not exactly great.

Thankfully i’ve never experienced those sort of comments or at least i’ve never heard them said.

I’m saying grrrrr for you.




:wink: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :two_hearts:



:two_hearts: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :polar_bear: :wink: