Tears On My Pillow

Tears On My Pillow

Crying jags have plagued me ever since I had a stroke. These circumstances usually arise whenever I experience strong emotion of any kind. In my prior life (the one before the stroke), I was always one to wear my emotions just under my skin, “on my sleeve” as it were. This was never something that concerned me, as I viewed it as a measure of sensitivity rather than a weakness to forgo.

As mentioned, strong emotions usually precipitate these incidents. I may be watching a film, television program or listening to music, my eyes will well and sobs may convulse my frame, leaving me shaken until I can manage to control my feelings. These occasions test my ability to restrain my sentimentality. Usually some strong memory accompanies these moments.

The thought of making music, which I dearly loved but am no longer capable of, will set me off. Alternatively, it may be a memory of passion lost, which again I am no longer able to muster, that triggers the deluge. Troubles deep within my psyche, no doubt, are at the root of these reactions, although I am currently at a loss to identify them.

Watching a teleplay, whether film or televised, which features a scene of intimacy, moves me more than deeply. The very knowledge of my inability to mount the necessary ardor leaves me with a feeling of profound inadequacy. My speech impairment (a result of the stroke) leaves me with less than ideal capabilities to converse romantically.

Music, for the longest time, defined me. It was who I was. Throughout my twenties, I played professionally and that experience cemented in my mind my definition of self as inextricably entwined with music making. There are times now, lying in bed late at night, I’ll hear in my mind some song that I identified with, which I am no longer able to play. It is then that my eyes will well with tears at the loss of an old friend and fat drops will fall upon my pillow.

Someday, I may regain my ability to play my guitar and sing with the full voice I remember so well. For now, however, I must reconcile my memories with my current reality. The knowledge that I am not alone in my predicament is of some small consolation. Perhaps, when I muster the courage to connect with other stroke survivors, I will be able to confront the demons that dog me. Until such time, I will have to learn to live with them.

Tears On My Pillow

stephen hewitt

Lanexa, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

The mangled emotions of the stroke survivor

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