Thinking back and looking forward - positively, of course

Throughout the third anniversary last Friday of my stroke, I tried not to have flashbacks to that fateful day. Even when I had to call in at the shop whose owner scraped me off the road on December 16 2013. Even when I had to cross that road. Even when I had to drive past the railway station from which I was coming home that afternoon. Even when a friend and her husband were plying Mrs Warrior and I with mulled wine and mince pies in their living room at almost exactly the same time as the drama had been unfolding.

I failed miserably. Of course, I did. Throughout the day, I kept inadvertently checking the time, thinking back to what I was doing at each precise moment. The feeling was particularly bad between 3.15 and 4.15pm, the crucial hour between when I collapsed and when I arrived in the Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit at Good Hope Hospital.

I'm still doing it, five days later, to be honest. I'm writing this early on Wednesday afternoon and I do recall that afternoons for much of my four-week stay consisted of lunch, then visiting time, then a rest, then my daily physiotherapy session, when walking the 20 yards from my room to the physiotherapy room was a massive challenge, even before the lovely physiotherapy ladies had me trying to walk up and down three steps, or across the room on sticks, just to get my legs moving again.

At first, I wasn't sure about the efficacy of these flashbacks, But then, as I mentioned last week, I did a Facebook Live broadcast into the 4Networking Community on Saturday morning. Telling my story wasn't a problem; I've become more and more adept as a public speaker throughout this year and I will get even better in 2017. But this was waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone, technology-wise. The broadcast was due to start at 8.30 so I was up at 6.15 (it's very dark at 6.15am in mid-December) to make sure my iPhone was working, my Mac (the one I was carrying three years before, by the way) was working, the lapel microphone I'd bought was working, that the lighting and sound were right, that I could read my notes and the script.

Of course, I was ready miles too early so as I waited, I started thinking back to my first Saturday morning in hospital. I decided to mention these flashbacks in my talk and one of the first on-screen comments I spotted was from a wonderful lady called Hayley Hilton, who has become a dear friend since we first met this summer at an event staged by the equally-wonderful Taz Thornton. Flashbacks, she said, are there to remind you why you are on your path.

In my case, of course, that's why I'm on this mission; why I get up at silly o'clock to make people aware of the dangers of stress; why I travel the country telling my story; why I write this blog.

As I've said many times, I could just give up and live a quiet life. But that's not me; I want to be active. As someone said to me this morning, the people who are remembered when they are gone are the ones who made a difference.

If I can make a difference to just one person by what I say or write, all the mental and physical effort will be worth it.

You can see my Facebook Live broadcast at https://www.facebook.com/martin.warrillow/videos/g.829941220470800/10210037512687259/?type=2&theater So far, it's had 620 views (at 2pm on Wednesday December 21) which is about 600 more than I thought it would get.......