Spiritual recovery?

Hey everybody!
I’m very curious on how this experienced has changed all your outlooks on life. Prior to this AVM rupture I was learning how to frame houses, non-union, and had aspirations of one day building my own track of houses.

In October I tried to go back to framing again but just found everything to be so overwhelming (due to my dominant hand still having defects, coordination and fine motor skills) and just knew that I was gonna have to change what I wanted to do, which before hand was already so difficult.

How has everybody been dealing with their spiritual needs and their mental health? This is definitely something that I have been neglecting and understand that something has to change.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! And do please if you will tell me your own individual mental health(spiritual journeys)

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Jack,

It’s a great question and I hope we’ll get some really interesting answers!

For me, I was 50 when I discovered my AVM. I can link you my story when you’re really stuck for something to do :rofl: but, to condense it, I could hear my AVM. I went to the doc once, then left it, self-diagnosed courtesy of Dr. Google and frightened myself completely with what Google found. It turned out to be true and at the point that my ENT doctor confirmed “AVM”, I fell off my pedestal. Albeit I hadn’t had a bleed, for the first time in my life I worried about my health and properly fell off my pedestal.

Over time, I rationalised it in my mind. Finding this place, with at least as many good stories as there are less good outcomes, and being able to learn about it helped me to understand and rationalise it but I’m clearly quite the “extrovert” so I shared with people here, people at home, people at work, and so on and I came out the other side pretty good. Took a long time to feel ok but today I’m good.

Recently, I had another health scare. This time prostate cancer. Much more common but potentially just as scary. Directly because of observing how I dealt with my AVM, I determined not to panic about it but was able to rationalise that I only needed to worry about it if I actually got a cancer diagnosis. This worked pretty well and I was much less bothered about it than my AVM. (The extrovert me still had to let it out the bag a couple of times, obviously!) This is one of the good things that came from going through my AVM “journey”: I learnt something from it. I didn’t panic.

In terms of my general mental health, I can say that my extrovert behaviour works for me and I do recommend that you find someone, some people or somewhere that you can share how you feel. Here is a perfect place to do so. It’s anonymous, you don’t know me or the others at all, and people here understand the worries you’re going through. It’s even better if you’ve got a good friend who you can talk to. This is where your real friends come in. I’d say this is more difficult as a young person because you’re less likely to have a friend who has gone through difficulties and will understand but it only needs to be someone who can understand a change in outlook, not necessarily someone with an AVM. An older person could be your outlet if you don’t have someone your own age.

Often you’ll find that other people have a hidden condition that you never knew they had and it is only in you breaking the ice with them that they share what they’ve gone through themselves. Men in particular are very reserved about talking about health or worries or mental well-being, so don’t be surprised if you find a friend who has been hiding something for a long time if you get to talk to them about your concerns.

Being here has been good for me. I’d have never met any of the people here, had I got through life without an AVM. I think I’ve learnt stuff here that makes me a more understanding person and I love some of the people here (most of them, tbh) they are GREAT. There are several who I hope I will get to meet one day and shake by the hand or hug.

Time to let others in.

Oh, my cancer biopsy came back clear last week :wink:

Richard

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Congrats on being cancer free! :smiley:
I definitely have some friends who are very supportive and have been very cool throughout the whole process and also quit a bit of family members, but I hate to feel like I’m dragging them down or have them worry about me.
I was very optimistic at the beginning of the process, and continue to look for the bright side but everyday is a battle, and I just cant wait for the day when I can look back on all of this and just smile but that’s gonna take some time.
Thank you for taking the time to read and write me back!

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Well, I think they’re GREAT friends at that rate!

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Jack and D squared,

I am working on thoughts on this but I have had a full plate lately with CoVid stress, a wife who had Covid (al is we with all of us) and many other things. I have a LOT of thoughts on this - will get them down and on here as soon as possible.

Cheers!

TJ

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Hi Jack

I’ll throw a few things in

I agree with @DickD these are times where you find your real friends. Or in my case finally realise most of my friends were not friends:) but that was GOOD to finally learn!

Ps congrats @DickD on test results

Like you, I have a few good friends and one family member but I also didn’t want to be the bore of the party and bring my problems on others… so I do agree that if you think it’s right for you, by all means go and chat to a therapist. People go in to them all the time for things that are trivial compared to your stuff. (And what’s trivial to them is fine. Everyone is different and has different coping skills). At least they are paid to listen to your thoughts and stories and as a bonus they have an arsenal of stuff to help you mentally. I actually grew as a person from all the bad stuff that happened

I have been to some therapy and it helped me MASSIVELY. But like I’ve said to a few on here, you need to make sure you “click” with your therapist and have a good connection. If not, try another. But I can just say I had success! And try it if you feel it might help

Spirituality covers such a big area, im not sure exactly your meaning but I’ll say my story anyway.
As far as spirituality, I wasn’t a believer as such but believed there has to be something but then EVERYTHING (I mean everything) went down in the dumps all at once. My entire life. My avm issues were just a SMALL part of everything that happened. And a good friend of mine at the time (As he’s a long time friend, I trusted him and knew he wanted nothing from me) said one day if you ever feel like it, let me know and id love to say a prayer with you. I said I’m cool with that so I did it. Then he said maybe one day you will become a Christian etc etc and if you do, come see me. As I was in a total slump with nothing to lose I said let’s do it! Right Now.
So there and then I became spiritual and had faith. I can say it has helped me in a lot of ways.

I realise some people have negative views on faith and some positive. I see both as well. There’s always good and bad. But things I have read and been involved in have given me insight and grounded me

Funny thing is, maybe I wasn’t a Christian before this but after becoming one, I realised I was doing all the good Christian things anyway already so all it meant was I read a few things as well

But I do think whatever spirituality or belief you might go find, will probably help you and ground you

Best of luck my friend! It’s a tough road but I know you can do it :slight_smile:

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To each his or her own, but I’ve found that YouVersion bible plans help me quite a bit. You can also find others to do plans with if you’re interested in that. There are different topics and subjects…anxiety, depression, work, etc. I’ve found them to be very helpful in my life. Feel free to message if you’d like a suggestion for one! Basically, we need a community if we are going to get through life. None of us can do it alone. I enjoy talking to others here who understand me and I’m always happy to help in anyway I can! :smiley:

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Your answer is exactly what I was looking for!, I know the question sounded enigmatic. I definitely feel that this whole experience has brought me closer to understanding a higher power, though I’m not exactly sure which belief gets to claim it :wink:. I just recently turned 22 in September and find it difficult to enjoy the things my life used to revolve around (partying and being cool mostly). I turned into a grandpa over this past year :sweat_smile: and can see that for the moment I’m growing apart from most of my friends, but I’m a firm believer that they will come to see my point of view. Not that I’m right at all, I’m just trying to make sense of this world and actually am coming to the view that no one will every truly be right! Besides God of course! I am slowly coming to peace with my circumstance and will definitely be talking to a therapist soon.
Thank you for taking the time to write back!

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Thank You! I will definitely look into YouVersion! Definitely can’t go through this alone! and even though it’s taken me some time to realize, these are questions that I wouldn’t want to go through life without asking and am definitely becoming a better person as a result.

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Haha it’s fine. I’m not old but I moan, groan, take a long time to get up. Stop randomly if I get dizzy. Make noises when I bend down or get up lol. Like I’m 105 years old

At first it bothered me, after a while I started laughing at myself for it. You get used to it

You might be like many here, things will get better, then worse then better etc. I’m up and down. One day I’m great and can tackle the world. The next I hurt and don’t feel like moving. And that’s fine. The biggest jump forward is once you accept it. Always try your best (without being silly) but accept what you can or cannot do and it will be easier I promise :slight_smile:

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Jack, welcome to the group. I know you are confused and scared about how your AVM will affect all parts of your life. I’m a lot older than you and sometimes I’m still scared and confused and oh so, thankful that I lived to talk about it! The 6 year anniversary of my AVM rupture was last month and I’m still here talking about it. Sure my life has changed, but my life is good. I have learned to slow down; pick my battles; find joy in little things; be less judgmental; and I’m much more empathetic because just as I have an ailment or a rare disease, others may have one to, Most of all, my patience level has sky-rocketed! None of this happened quickly. I had to learn these things about myself, so that I could relate to others in and out of my circle. We, the AVM Survivor’s Group are here for you. We help & support each other because we get it … they don’t! My recipe for getting better & stronger is P&P (Prayer & Patience). Have a sip. I wish you all the best on your AVM journey.

Dick, congratulations on your wonderful news. Let’s keep getting better & wiser!

Sharon D…

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Great advice!! You guys have definitely changed how I look at my situation. Thank you so much! :smiley:

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Sharon this post was wonderfully written! This incident has made me stronger, more patient and wiser against my will. I will continue to improve! Thank you so much! :smiley:

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@Sharon_A_Dawkins you just said what I have never been able to put into words thank you :slight_smile:

Although our circumstances might be different, everything you explained is the exactly what happened to me too. Same process. I guess some bad things change you for the better :slight_smile:

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Hi Jack, I’ll try to tell my long story as shortly as possible: I’m 61, age 14 avm bleed, 2 craniotomies, scar tissue, a life of seizures/meds, psychological issues.
I’ve had high functioning times (lawyer) and very low- just got fired by Dominos and many more. Lots of shame and frustration. Relationship issues-2 divorces. I could go on but you get the idea.
As far as neglecting spiritual needs, that’s too vague. Religion? Philosophy? Yoga? Travelling the world? Imho you’re not neglecting. Searching is spiritual. I’m writing a book. It’s not spiritual at all but the journey is. There were 3 days in southern Arizona I found shoveling horse manure therapeutic and calming.
I’ll share more if this helps. (I’m told by my family that sometimes I’m “arbitrary”.)

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Hey Greg thanks for the answer!
Sorry the topic is definitely very vague. I guess I’m just curious to hear peoples perspectives on how they came to peace with their injury or coming to peace.
I guess what I mean when I say I’m neglecting, is that mental health is definitely not something that I’ve ever been good at addressing. But I’ve recently come into contact with a Psychiatrist who specializes with stroke victims, so that will be interesting.
That’s crazy to hear about the spectrum of careers you’ve had. Sorry to hear about Dominos.
Are you still effected by your AVM physically? Have you traveled the world?
Plus I would love to get a copy of your book!
Thank you for answering!

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Hi Jack, Lately I’ve developed a meditation practice that helps with calm/peace.
The shame has been the hardest for me. I am just starting to realize it’s not something I need to feel.
I don’t know you but my gut feeling is that you’re a nice guy and smart. You definitely have empathy and that’s a high level of spirituality.
I still have seizures due to AVM. That contributes to my shame. So does my career ups and downs.
I look at peace as a skill like war. It takes years to learn the art of war and it’s probably the same with peace. Practice! Patience… Greg

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Hey Greg thank you so much for the honesty! I definitely feel shame over the matter and I am definitely working on finding new ways to cope! Patience is so fickle for me, but I’m slowly accepting the reality of my situation and starting to truly understand how I can use this to my advantage. Easier said than done, and it’s definitely going to take so much more work.
Once again, thank you for your answer Greg!

Chaps,

Throw off the shackles of shame, please! There is no shame in mental health troubles, only the ignorance of others.

Lots of love,

Richard

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Thanks Guys, It helps to get stuff out here. Hiding shame only makes it worse.
I’ve been trying to shift my perspective. What if one of my family or friends had mental health problems? Would I look down on them? Of course not. Would I avoid them? No. Would I have empathy and reach out if possible? Yes! Greg

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