Leighann Blackwood for Unsplash

Wishes Keep Me Company

How over two decades of being a stroke survivor prepared me for this pandemic

Victoria Ponte
2 min readMar 30, 2020


It’s easy to wish for things to be different. It’s harder to accept things that can’t be changed. Twenty one years after I became disabled by a severe stroke at age 35, I am still practicing daily acceptance of my condition. Wishing things were different has been a constant.

With a global pandemic raging, I find I am using many of the same skills I have used to cope with the stroke.

As I move through life daily with a movement disorder, I hear myself wish things like “I wish I could use my left hand.”, or “I wish I could run.” I’ve learned to keep my thoughts moving and accept what is on an ongoing basis.

I tell myself things like, “Well, you can’t and that’s how it is.” And I keep moving. And look for things to be grateful about.

I have been using the same self talk techniques as we move through this global pandemic. “I wish this would go away.” “I wish I could see my friends.” “I wish to be with my lover.” “I wish I could go horseback riding.”

As these wishes don’t come true quickly enough, my patience is being tested. And I keep moving. And I find things to be grateful for.

I am grateful to have had years of practice accepting things I can’t change. In isolation, my wishes are keeping me company.