And, I found, I could not lie. I could not write fiction. So instead I wrote the truth. I started an anonymous blog on which I chronicled my stroke recovery as a writer. It connected me to friends that I have to this day.

I became an introvert. I learned to protect my energy, something that now serves me well in midlife. I learned to take better care of myself. I learned to devote my time to things that reinvigorated me, to things that were important. Write a paragraph in my journal. This person, not that. A bath and not makeup.

My brain was changed forever. The dead spot never rejuvenated. But the brain was making new paths around the destruction. In this way, blood traveled in a new way around my heart. Also in this way, there are new neural pathways in my brain.

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee, in BuzzFeed, on having a stroke at age 33.

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Photo: reighleblanc, Flickr