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I should be 'over it' by now

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That's what people I know keep telling me at least. Just 'get over it' 'you survived, you should feel lucky'. You name the cliche'...I've heard it.

I had my SAH in Feb. of this year. I DO feel lucky that I survived it, and am functioning for the most part. But why can't I 'get over it'? All I want to do is cry, or scream all the time. I had bipolar disorder before this happened, but now I don't know how to explain it...my moods are just OFF.

My family thinks I'm fine and everything is back to normal since I'm out of the hospital and doing most things for myself. How do I tell them that nothing is normal, nothing will ever be normal again. Some days I think it was a mistake that I survived at all, that they would all be better off if I hadn't. I know that isn't true (most of the time) but I can't help but dwelling on it other times.

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You are right, you are different. You have brain damage and that brain damage has affected you. There is no way to tell if you will regain the person you were before the event. I am sorry to hear your family is not understanding of the nature of your injury.

Have you talked with your neurologist or general doctor about how you are feeling? Please do not belittle yourself. You are a miracle and you are alive.

How do you tell them?...just tell them. I have always been one to speak candidly and feel that it is important to clear any misconceptions from the start.

I hope things get better for you.

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Hi Stephanie tell them exactly how you feel tell them you won't ever be the same again it took me almost ten years to make my husband realise that I had changed and he finally saw it at the start of march when I told him he could leave and we haven't got back together. And that was the real turning point in my life that was when I finally realised I was over the sah it took along time but I am a lot happier now. Jess.xxx

Ps I am not saying to leave your partner but if it hadn't of been for my sah me and kev would of split up along time ago so I will always be grateful now that I had the sah when I did else I may never of had my two wonderful little boys that I have.

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I don't know what I'm feeling any more. My husband is great. He's the one who keeps telling me that I'm different, but that it's ok. It's other members of the family who expect me to be the same old person I always was before. My 20 year old daughter tells me that I can't use brain damage as an excuse because I'm all better now. Oh, I wish I could be young and innocent like that again. My brother in law, who is NOT young, tells me I don't have time for such nonsense and to just get over it. He's right, I don't have time for it because in 9 days, my husband goes into surgery for cancer removal, and that surgery is going to be very dangerous and long.

I want to be 'myself' again, but then again, I don't want to be the person I was either. I used to let people walk all over me, but since the SAH, I have a nasty habit of telling people off quite often.

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Hiya Stephanie,

it is so difficult to get others to understand and sometimes it's those who are closest to you that are the worst for it. These days I put it down to positive thinking on their part. I have had to do this, because my negative thoughts towards all these people were really bringing me down. Like you, for the most part I have escaped sah physically unscathed. Sometimes I wish I had a badge or a label I could display. My partner knows that things are different for me now, but then we have always been very close and could talk about anything and I know I am lucky in that respect. I have a few close friends who understand too and these are the people I surround myself with. I don't actively avoid anyone, but I try not to spend too much time in the company of people who insist on telling me that they have alway had a bad memory themselves and other assorted useless platitudes. I am 9 months in and it really does get better. Even the off moods get better, although I have to confess that I know little or nothing about bipolar. Have you spoken to your GP about this? It might be that your meds need adjusting to cope with the changes in your brain, if you are taking meds for it. Other people on here have explained to me that I am going through a grieving process for my old life and the old me. I miss having a logical brain so much and I get very frustrated with that. Going to Headway has really helped me to calm down in that respect, meeting other people who have brain injury was just what I needed to get some perspective.

I hope things improve for you very soon,

Dawn x

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Have you talked with your neurologist or general doctor about how you are feeling?

I tried to talk to the neurosurgeon about things when I went for my check up, but he decided to discharge me from his service because I'm 'healed'.

I'm supposed to go back to the neuro interventionalist for an angio, but with all that's going on with my husband, I don't have time for that right now. It will have to wait.

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Steph the followng is copied & pasted from something Lin Lin wrote probably 12 months ago. I had it on my FB to tell people why wer are different now & hopefully it will strike a cord with you x

I can relate to this thread, but I have undoubtedly improved lots since the early days.

More importantly, I am relaxed about it and accept the slight differences in me as part and parcel of who I am now. I may improve further, but I am ok if I do not.

I am presently engaged in two voluntary work placements. I work at the Citizens Advice Bureau offering free legal help at a drop in centre.

I find this job manageable because it is familiar (and easier) to the job I used to do. However, I sense that some of the managers treat me as a (healthy) qualified lawyer and they can inadvertently explain things as a pitch which is slightly out of reach. (And my goodness they speak quickly!!)

I used to feel ashamed of this and just smile and nod my head. I feel more confident to say now that they need to explain things differently.

I also work at an office which helps disabled people get back into employment. They have taken me on knowing I have a brain injury and understand brain injuries.

They are teaching me reception work. It should be easy for me, but the tasks are new and I do not find it straightforward. I am not embarrassed about this. I am given short and succinct instructions and given time to master them before moving on to something else. They insist I have regular breaks saying my brain needs ‘time off.’

I work alongside many disabled people. Some of my work colleagues are wheelchair users, others are deaf, some are blind, not to mention countless people with hidden disabilities.

They have taught me about equality of outcome and how this involves treating people differently sometimes. This is not about treating people better nor is it positive discrimination. It simply acknowledges that if everyone is treated exactly the same, some people get left behind.

My brain works a bit differently to before. I can’t retain information as quickly, crowds tire me, my memory is poorer and the pace of my life needs to be slower. But all this is ok. I’m not stupid and my intellectual capacity is the same. Things are just a bit different.

I feel empowered when I tell people I have a brain injury. I look upon it as a measure of what I can achieve despite the SAH.

There’s no point in me pretending that everything’s going to be exactly the same as before and ‘putting it behind me’ as JayKay’s friend suggested!! (Aren’t people just full of helpful advice!!!)

If people treat me as I was before the SAH and if I try to emulate all aspects of my life before the SAH, I am not going to cope and I will feel depressed. ‘Putting it behind me,’ will not help. Harnessing the experience of the SAH in a positive way will help me improve. Facing up to things is healthy. Sweeping things under the carpet is not, and problems do not go away in doing that.

I am not going to put the SAH behind me. It is going to be the very thing which drives me forward to achieving a better life than what I had before the SAH.

A previous work colleague told me at her retirement party that you ‘can always play a new tune on an old fiddle!’ I intend to follow the advice

Edited by Skippy
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Hi Stephanie

It is so unfair that we get treated as though we are 'all fixed' once we have had a check-up and some of us have had ops (if aneursym-SAH).

It is just not true that we are 'fixed', there is internal damage that needs to repair itself, and that can take months or indeed years, depending on the severity of our SAH.

I also suffered from some of my family, friends and work colleagues who thought I would be 'back to normal' straight-away. It has taken a few years for them to realise otherwise, although I am a lot nearer to the 'old me' now (2.5yrs on).

Quoting your earlier post "Some days I think it was a mistake that I survived at all, that they would all be better off if I hadn't. I know that isn't true (most of the time) but I can't help but dwelling on it other times" I can relate to this as I felt like this for months post-SAH. Things have got so much better over the past few years though and I don't feel this way now. It will get better.

Good luck for your husbands operation. It is unfortunate you are having to go through so much as a family this year, and it is sad that others are not supporting your recovery whilst you are worrying about your husband too.

Perhaps your family should have a read of some of the information and stories on this site...

Take care and stay strong

Kel x

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Hi Stephanie.

We are not the same as we were. Oh the shell is the same, but the core of who we are is in our heads and our hearts. In many ways we just need to discover the new improved us.

It has been a year for me, the title of your thread caught my eye. That is how I feel. I should be over it. well I am over the physical part. I didnt need surgery, no aneurysm. But I know I am not the same. Part of who I have become is an advocate for SAH. The forum has sure helped.

I wish I could get some "bone heads" to read the words that all the people who "Look fine" write in here every day.

I wish ill health on no one but I sure wish certain people could share my symptoms for about a week. and just when they feel it is over maybe one more week :lol:. I know thats mean but it would sure make me feel better HAHAHA

Hang in there Stephanie it gets better each day. There will be ups and downs but you have come to a place here where people care.

We are always here to lend an ear.

I wish your husband all the best with his surgery. Keep us posted.

Take one day at a time and soon those days will have been weeks and months and you will wonder where the time went.

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This was/is so me. I change everyday so sometimes yes and sometimes no. What gets me is that when I need to be morbid, I have trouble finding people to go there with me. They all want to cheer me up. SAH happened, it sucked, it still sucks, I'm not sure if I am 'Lucky' to survive - maybe the others that died were the lucky ones. Our families don't want to hear that so they deny it. It also doesn't mean I'm suicidal...just unlucky. Don't let others make you doubt your real feelings. You're not over it. Neither am I.


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Hi Stephanie,

Feb this year you are very early in the recovery of all this, your not getting over a broken bone or anything like that, if your doing most things for yourself then your family will think your ok, where that's good sometimes we can be too dependant & no-one realises just how frigile we are.

sit the family down and explaine to them tell them that there's others that have been there let them look in on the site see just what its all about....

those that say just get over it I always say in return walk a day in my shoes then you'll know all about it.

I think maybe tho you need to see your doctor go back and say Im not healed you're not recovered long enough to be 'healed' Oh and by the way dont put the angio off hun you come no.1 now....

hope Im making sense I do tend to rattle on - sorry take care....

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Hi Stephanie, warm welcome to BTG. You've come to the right place. We know what you are talking about.

It was at about the 4 month mark that I was very emotional. Lots and lots of tears. There have been lots of tears since but that period of a few weeks was a daily thing (maybe even hourly!). Anything set me off, I want to say the way the wind blew. Prior to that I wasn't a cryer. I was a tough one, strong emotionally. A 'get on with it' type of person actually. I think it might be part of the healing to feel all the emotions. Let yourself feel the way you do.

Sandi K. Hugs. Xoxoox

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Strange, I used to cry a lot after the SAH.... I havent done that much this past few months.... I kind of miss it :wink:.

Maybe I meed to watch a romantic comedy or something.

I know when I used to walk every night I got some lone time that would allow me to weep a little. I need to get back into that too.

I know I will NEVER get over it, but I am adapting and assimilating "Resistance is Futile" :lol:

In many ways I love the new me. I know one day I would love to see a neuropsychologist and maybe when I am ready I will ask for a referral but for now I am relying on family and friends to help me through.

I have no idea why I havent seen one yet or requested to see one, Mind you I am a man and we dont even look at roadmaps or ask directions :lol:.

That reminds me of a joke I made up.... sad but true..... Why do men listen to a GPS but wont listen to a wife while driving?

Because a wife NEVER says recalculating when her husband ignores her instructions!

see my brain just isn't right any more :lol:

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Hi Stephanie

I had my SAH in February 2010 so I am a lot further down the road than you.

I still get very emotional particularly when i am over tired having done too much or pushed too hard

Before I used to worry about the tears thinking when am I going to get over this and be back to how I was

Now I accept that the tears are a necessary way for my body and mind to get themselves in balance when I have not listened to the "fatigue imminent" warnings.

I sometimes cry too just talking about things, particularly talking about me and how I feel as I always felt they were questioning and doubting my problems were genuine, but these episodes are reducing since I saw a neuropshycologist explained how normal this was and how I shouldn't beat myself up. She asked me a very simple question "Do you know you had a brain haemorrhage??" Of course I said I did so she said "so why are you feeling a fraud and thinking you should not have any issues?" She advised I should look at myself in the mirror everyday and tell myself"You've had a brain haemorrhage and just look how well you are doing and how strong you have been" or anything to tell myself how proud I actually am at the strength of character in getting through it all.

Maybe you should try this too Stephanie

But I understand what you mean about not feeling the same. I don't feel the same as I used too.

My emotions are a lot flatter than before - I don't feel excited or look forward to outings, holidays seeing relatives etc

But I also don't get the bad side - I don't feel guilt at not seeing relatives, i don't feel dissappointment at missing out on someting, or anxiety if I have an important meeting.

I have learnt to accept that this is the way I am and don't compare pre SAH and now and I am learning to just keep moving forwards. But I must say I only realised this was the necessary course of action at 18 months on when I contacted Headway and they referred me to the community neuro team. Their input gave me the ability and reasoning to "Accept.......and move on".

This has now become my motto

hope you find lots of strength reading everyones experiences here as you see that we all share similarities and differences in how the SAH effected us but that we are all here together sharing our most inner thoughts with the only people who can truly know what we mean as they too have felt it. It will get better trust us

Di x

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I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome and support I have gotten from you in the short time I've been here.

Some days are better than others, and today is a 'better' day for me. I'm feeling much stronger emotionally today.

I have learned recently that I don't care if I **** people off anymore. (not that I ever REALLY did, but at least I pretended to) I just don't seem capable of caring anymore. After what happened to me, all I keep thinking is "I've always been a good person and done what was right, so if this is what I get for being good...screw it! Time to be in it for me."

I've alienated a few family members already who just don't want to get that I've changed, that I'm not the same weak minded person who used to let them walk all over me, and I never will be again. I don't have time for such nonsense anymore.

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Stephanie, I found that certain people just drain me and I have nothign to give them. I have kept a safe distance from those people for sometime now!

Good for you knowing what is important.


Edited by MaryB
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Been away...just saw post...apart from my immediate family..I told my Sisters ,cousins etc..that I must not have moaning and groaning

around me..I told them that surgeon said I must only have happy talk I fibbed as usual

Just try and keep chin up xxxx get well and be happy also xxxx

Good luck xx

WinB143 xx xx The fibber..lol

Edited by Winb143
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Hey Steph

As long as you're being true to yourself it doesn't matter. My Dad has always told me that I was given a mind for a reason - to think what I think and my mouth say what I think. Yes there are times when you have to be tactful but other than that, why should you pussy foot around these people who evidently don't care if they upset you?

Edited by Skippy
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HI Stephanie, welcome to BTG!

I've only just read this thread. The words that jumped off the page at me from your post were 'I don't care'. I think you do care and care very much. What you are doing is telling people the truth. That you are different, same car body with a different engine, but just because they can't see it doesn't mean it isn't true! Engine performance is different. just tell them that you are different and if they can't accept that, then that's their problem not yours. Get your daughter and the others in your family to read these posts - we've all been there, we understand the problem entirely - we've lived it and are living it too!

And as for that 'professional' - well, what arrogance!! Medical opinions are just that - opinions. For everyone you get with that opinion, you can find another with the opposite. They are more worrying because of what they don't know rather than what they do know!! No matter what his qualifications are, the day he stops being willing to listen and learn is the day he becomes a bad one and you are better off with a different one! Just watch an old Perry Mason or Quincy or CSI etc etc. Opposite opinions in legal cases are ten a penny because they are based on that 'experts' knowledge and training, but if his training is slightly different from the other guy, then it's always going to be different. That's because there are no definite's. Even two people prescribed the same drugs for the same symptoms can have a different result because we all have a different chemical make up, eat and drink different things and the chemicals/drugs they give us can react differently. Just read any side effects leaflet that comes with the drugs you are prescribed - none of it is an exact science, that's why they write them that way, because the effects can be so different!

Anyway, enough of a rant, go and focus on getting your husband better, he sounds a great guy, and anytime you want to let off steam, we're here

Once again welcome to this fantastic forum

Best wishes


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Hi Stephanie! Happy you've found this site - as you've seen already, so much information and caring support from others who've been through/are going through many of the same things that you are.

I've just read through all the replies and even though I'm 2 1/2 yrs. post sah/stroke, I still find myself thinking I should be over it by now as well. Intellectually, I know better. Emotionally, that's another story. Working on it. It is definitely a process.

Hang in there sweetie and come here often! We're all here to help one another get through this "stuff"

I'll be keeping you in my thoughts, as well as your husband - for surgery to go well and perfect healing to follow.

Big hugs,


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  • 1 month later...

Hi There steph, there is a letter on this site called a letter to my brain i printed it off for my sister and told her it was her bible.Its an amazing letter which any of your friends family can read if you print it off and believe me they will then understand you.My sister found it amazing.My sister had 7 annuerysms in jan and 1 large one ruptured and she had a massive bleed to the brain and stroke.She had a cranial op and was sent home 3 weeks later.She has had a massive seizure since and now diagnosed epileptic,we ve nearly lost her twice now.I thank god for every day she has,she has 3-4 more operations to have to remove the rest of her annuerysms, she has very low days and good days she misses her old self.Her long term memory is fab but short term poses a problem we talk about how she feels one to one every week i take her out,she has changed so much but my old sis is still there and its very early days for such an enormous thing to happen.She cant go out alone,she was also a wedding cake decorator,which she can no longer do,it is such a huge dramatic change to all of your lives and myself and others who havent suffered this cannot possibly understand what your all going through but if we are there to lend an ear or a few hours out or just a chat by text email or over the phone it all helps the healing process i think time is the only thing that can help because in time things will improve and if not people learn to adapt maybe not accept it but have to live with it,i wish you all the best in your recovery take each day as it comes and dont spend your precious time worrying about the ignorant people who dont take the time to understand.I found this website for my sister i searched for weeks because i also needed to understand and be educated how else can we help people like yourselves if we have no knowledge on the subject.

Take carexxx

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