In the introduction Linda explains why she wrote a book about her remarkable quest for better answers and solutions after her stroke. Although Linda had not written a book before she finished her first book within a year of starting. Linda accomplished this by making writing first thing in the morning (05.00 am), a new habit. Inspired by Marisa Peers's remark about how ultra successful persons start the day with what they dislike doing she set off exactly doing that. Linda's determination in sharing her story also shows in the fact that she wrote the entire book on her phone with one hand.
Arjan Kuipers, Co-founder brain.rehab
We all have our own stories. And all of you are about to hear mine. What I am doing is very uncomfortable for me. I am accustomed to only ever sharing my story on a surface level of where I’m from, what I do, and that sort of thing. However, now you are getting the “full story” from me -- authentic, exposed, and completely vulnerable.
While science supports everything I have written in this book (see the footnotes at the end), this book is not meant to be an academic research paper. It is more of an expression of my own experience and a bit of an “operating manual” about how I survived my two strokes and ultimately, how I got my life back.
You will find wisdom and practical advice with “naked authenticity” along with some guidance about emotional and physical stamina that helped me through my recovery. What I offer you in addition to my story is a synthesis of all the books and research papers that I have read in the past three years and my personal observations added to it. My goal is to attempt to provide a plan for recovery from “the bad hand you were dealt” while giving suggestions about how to become a happier and more joyful individual (again).
From my subjective observations, I shall guide you through the stages of my stroke-story -- from my life as a businesswoman that “had it all” to waking up in my version of hell, paralyzed on half of my body, unable to make a sound, and wearing a diaper. I was diagnosed with a severe stroke and doctors doubted that I would ever be able to walk or utter a word again. They also told me several times that hardly any recovery would take place after six months had passed.
In this book, you will be able to read how I alleviated chronic pain, became able to walk normally again and run once again, move my fingers, and although it is not perfect at present, I was also able to recover my ability to speak. All of these things were accomplished AFTER the six short months. How was I able to recover as well as I have thus far, despite the many naysayers I encountered?
After I overcame my overwhelming neuropathic pain, I made the conscious decision to ditch my victim mentality forever. Overcoming my pain had not only freed up my energy, but also had taught me the essential lesson that it is possible to rewire my own brain. I took control of my own biology and improved my body and mind.
I became a biohacker.
Any person who views herself or himself as an experimenter does not get upset with things that don’t go the way they want them to. They merely collect data, make a note of it, and try to apply that data differently the next time. This is how I see myself now -- as a somewhat obsessed experimenter-biohacker. I will continue to try everything that is available, whether proven or experimental, to become fully recovered. I’m now a “running experiment” on neuroplasticity.
Before my stroke, I was always searching for something, I don’t know what it was (perhaps wealth and status), but I am not searching anymore, and I have found my “ikigai” -- a Japanese word that means the reason to get up in the morning. You will hear about it in Chapter Twenty.
It is my sincere wish that you will gain wisdom, practical advice, and, most importantly, an abundance of hope from the pages of this book. If not, you might still find it inspiring and entertaining.
I am determined to not screw up my second chance in life. I wouldn’t change any of the things that I have learned in the past three years -- really – nothing.
As a result of the events that I am about to describe, I have become more aware, centered, happier, more appreciative of what life has to offer, and more authentic in my approach to life.
Anything wise that you read within these pages should be attributed to the authors of books and research papers on neuroscience, the experts on neuroplasticity, neuroscience, will power, habits, health, sleep, and to the writings of stoic philosophers that I have read.
Any unwise assumptions can be assumed to be my errors.
If you are a stroke survivor, I urge you to not give up. There is a path to recovery. Take your steps in the right order. Be patient, do not doubt, become your new better self.
This is my first book, but it will not be my last one. I’m going to keep you updated on my recovery!
Below you can watch the video of Linda's book release in the Grand Hotel Stockholm on the 8th of December 2019