It’s amazing how much we take for granted in life. All the simple things we once thought weren’t important or did without thinking have suddenly become gigantic and bigger than life. Things like remembering to wash your hair while you are in the shower, dealing with relentless fatigue an hour after waking up, having nagging pain following you everywhere you go, being the last person to finish eating every meal, and even the seemingly simple act of walking across the bedroom floor.
Each one of those things were just a part of life that I never had to think about before, but now I find I’m working hard at each one just to make it through my day.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis, I have had to learn to adapt to change or life would swallow me whole. But I also have to be ready to adapt again because those changes, change. Nothing with MS is predictable. One day you may wake up ready to work a full day at your job, go out to eat with friends afterwards, and still be able to come home to do a load of laundry before going to bed.
Other times as the day progresses, you haven’t even made it through the morning before you’re ready to climb under your desk, build a bed with reams of copy paper, and sleep for the remainder of the day. If you could get away with it, you would surely do it too.
MS has this way of throwing life out of whack and causing gigantic amounts of stress along with it. Stress in turn makes everything worse and can even cause progression to increase thus making life even crazier. Such a vicious cycle. For me, if I don’t put limits on my day or listen to my body when it’s screaming at me to stop, I end up worse off because it.
I have to put limits on my day if I plan on making it through even the next hour without collapsing into a puddle on the floor. I have to give myself breaks that others around me don’t need if I am going to make it through the day in tact. I have to walk away when the pressures get too much and the pain becomes too great so I can clear my thoughts and simply breathe.
It’s okay to pause in life. We go way too fast as a society anyway. Pauses would do everyone some good, not just people with MS.
Today, pause and breathe. Find a place where you can get away from the busyness surrounding you even if that place is hiding in a bathroom stall at work or sitting alone in your car. Use every chance you can get to take those pauses.
Sometimes they are easy to manage and other times you have to force yourself to take them, but your health and wellbeing matter more than schedules and plans. You are the most important part of your day. Take the time to take care of you today.