It’s hard to not focus on how I feel in my daily fight living with Multiple Sclerosis. Feelings have this way of ruling the day even when I don’t want them to. It takes a lot of energy to manage a chronic illness. That energy is wrapped up into every nerve cell in my body triggering not just pain, discomfort and weakness, but also anger, sadness and fear. That’s something people don’t seem to understand.
I woke up this morning and everything was hurting, even my hair and clothes. Who knew nerve endings were in those things? It would be nice if there were some magic pill that would take everything away…and I’m not just talking about MS either. I’m talking about all the craziness that comes along with it too. Sometimes there’s just too much change to even wrap my head around and I find myself wishing everything would all just go away.
I have days when I’m strong, but I also have days when I’m a wreck both inside and out. It’s funny though…people looking in on my life wouldn’t see it that way. They would see me as a strong, resilient, never quit, go-get-em kind of gal. Someone who keeps going with every punch thrown her way and who seems unmoved by her circumstances. But that’s only because they can’t look inside my life and see the battles I fight every day.
I fight back tears with a silly little joke. I fight weakness by staying busy. I fight loneliness with a movie. I fight stress with a song. I fight defeatist thoughts by shifting my focus away from the chaos. Every day is filled with a bunch of little fights, sometimes one at a time and sometimes all combined into one giant mess. Fights that at times I didn’t even know I was fighting and that I sometimes lose.
Here I am today, bruised, battered, and beaten up in this war we call a life with Multiple Sclerosis. So when someone wants to know why I’m always so exhausted, well, it’s because I never get to take a break from the fight.
Do like me, take those battle scars and wear them proudly. You are an overcomer even when you don’t feel like it because you are winning battles left and right. Maybe you can’t do this or that, maybe life has changed more than you ever dreamed it could, maybe you are tired, weary and simply worn out, but through it all I know you are not a quitter. You are a champion even when you don’t feel like it…even when your knees are knocking.
Focus only on today. You are going to make it through the battles you are facing. How do I know that? Because, like me, I know you are strong enough, brave enough and courageous enough. You are an MS Warrior.