Skip to main content
BlogCommunityOur Story

At 51, I Had a Stroke

By April 26, 2022May 11th, 20225 Comments

Yep, I’ve always told myself, “It will never happen to me!” I’m healthy, exercise regularly, eat well, practice stress relief, manage my time well. “That only happens to unhealthy people.” Well, what a wake-up call, friends! It did happen to me! At 51, I had a stroke which caused a brain bleed. Wow! What a wake-up call to slow down and re-evaluate what’s important in my life. I guess I thought it was me and my family and close circle of friends, but I guess it turned out to be I was on a path to self-destruction.

I mean, I could have died, and I guess at first, they weren’t sure I was going to make it. Scary. So what led up to my stroke. Well, probably too much work and work stress. My work is demanding. But, if you know me, that’s what I love about my job. It’s highly dynamic and fast-paced. It keeps me on my toes! Variety is the spice of life, eh?

Secondly, I have some pesonal stress going on in my life that probably contributed to my stroke, as well. What I didn’t know is that I have high blood pressure, which I was totally clueless about. It’s always fine when I go into the doctor, so I wasn’t aware. But, the stroke I had is only caused by high blood pressure, so I guess I do. Again, since I eat well and exercise, I never thought it was a problem or would be… the silent killer, I guess.

So how do I move forward with all of this information. First, I need to take a serious look at my work demands and create a plan to keep my work stress under control. That looks like reduced hours and maybe some meditation, which isn’t easy for me since I prefer going 110 miles an hour!

Also, a little more yoga and some intentionally practice meditation. My sister practices meditation daily, so I’m sure I can get some good tips and insight from her. I will continue to practice gratitude which I love doing and try to integrate into my life daily. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to share this blog with my community and hope it hits a chord for others. My passion in life is helping and serving others, so I hope this opens someone else’s eyes.

My gratitude also extends to my sisters who have been instrumental in my recovery and continued healing and health. My sister, Kristina, continues to stay on top of my medical care and look out for any signs of a relapse. My other sister, Kelly, has guided and managed my business in my absence and is helping me transition back to my job, with the goal of reduce hours, stress and modification in mind!

I share all of this because I’m grateful I’m able to and say to you all to listen to your body. I didn’t know I wasn’t listening to mine, but I guess I wasn’t. Life is too short and precious not to gently nourish ourselves physically and spiritually. With gratitude, I extend much love to you all.

Andrea Berryman Childreth

Author Andrea Berryman Childreth

Andrea Berryman Childreth is an award-winning author of the book, ON THE EDGE: Help and hope for parenting children with mental illness, founder of The Lemonade Project, advocate and parent coach. She has first-hand experience with parenting a mentally ill daughter and has struggled with mental illness, herself. Her goal is to help empower people to openly share their stories and improve access to equitable mental health services.

More posts by Andrea Berryman Childreth

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Kate Empasis says:

    Andrea, I am so sorry for what you have been thru but happy that you are on the road to recovery. I strongly believe in working hard but also listening to your mind and body and making time to care for yourself. All my best my friend, Kate Empasis

  • Leanne says:

    Andrea, keep shining your light on others but shine it within, as well. I am so happy to hear you are on the mend and that you have such an amazing support system in your family. You have definitely been in my thoughts a lot lately, and will continue to be. Much love to you as you recover, I am in awe of your strength.

  • Nikki Janky says:

    Thank you for sharing your powerful story. I know this will help many as I am evaluating my stressors right this very moment after reading this. God bless,

  • Cherylee (Cheri) Sickels says:

    It is a journey we must all evaluate. I am thankful you are on your recovery part and family, friends and associates are in this journey with you. A remarkable young women who does not give up. Blessings for you, Andrea and family..

  • Kelly Berryman says:

    Recognizing that you haven’t been listening to your body is listening. I am so inspired by how much you embrace life with vulnerability and passion. You know I had my own wake-up call in my 50s. Cheers to your bonus round in life sweet sister. XOXO Kelly