An inspirational story for anyone struggling with their sense of self following injury, Debra Meyerson's emotionally powerful journey of rebuilding and redefining her identity after suffering a debilitating stroke seeks to let survivors know that they're not alone.
In 2010, Debra Meyerson, a Stanford University professor, suffered a severe stroke in which she lost all speech and was paralyzed on her right side. Identity Theft centers on Debra’s experience: her stroke, her extraordinary efforts to recover, and her journey to redefine herself. She draws on her skills as a social scientist and conversations with dozens of fellow survivors, family members, friends, colleagues, therapists, and doctors to paint a new picture of the emotional journey through the identity-based challenges born from stroke and other accidents and illnesses that rob people of important capabilities. She shares amazing personal stories and uses them to illustrate lessons we can all learn from. She addresses these important questions:
• Who are you after a stroke? How do I define myself in the face of more limited abilities?
• How do you grieve the loss of you? What is really important to me?
• Who do you become during your recovery? How do I fit in?
This is not a how-to book for recovery, nor will it tell you what you'll experience or how you should deal with the loss of ability, but it's a book full of hope for stroke survivors. It gives them and their support network a broad picture of what might lie ahead. And it explores some critical questions that, in the more prevalent focus on physical recovery, are all too often overlooked in the effort to help people who have lost capabilities from stroke or otherwise.
About the Authors:
Previously a tenured professor at Stanford University, Debra Meyerson studied, wrote, lectured, and taught about organizational change and how individuals make sense of work and of their lives. She is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters, and two books including Tempered Radicals: How People Use Difference to Inspire Change at Work (HBS Press, 2001). She remains a consulting professor. Debra is also the survivor of a severe stroke that, in 2010, initially left her paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak or communicate in any way. She still faces significant disabilities, but has brought her two lives together to write this book—as a resource for stroke survivors and as part of her journey to rebuild a life of meaning. Debra lives in Menlo Park, CA with her husband, and has three grown children.
An entrepreneur at the intersection of society and technology, Danny Zuckerman worked on a new digital identity system at Consensys. He has written and spoken on the problems and opportunities of identity in a globally connected world. Passionate about how individuals relate and cooperate, he is currently building a new tech startup that will help people create more powerful communities. Danny previously built digital education products at Zearn, worked as a management consultant at Bain & Co, and studied Political Philosophy and Economics at Stanford University. He grew up in Menlo Park, CA playing every sport he could, and now lives in New York City playing spikeball in his spare time. Danny is Debra Meyerson's son.