Life is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes we go through days when all we seem to experience are the ups. Those are days we relish, enjoy, and soak up because we know the down days will come. Regrettably, Multiple Sclerosis has more downs than ups. They happen when we least expect them and sometimes the unexpected is so far out of our plans that it messes up everything. So, what do you do when MS throws you a curveball?
You do your best to find something good in the mess.
Did you know that you can smile when you are standing in the deepest, darkest pit of despair and laugh through the pain? People may look at you oddly because you are smiling at a time when you should be crying (because that’s what they would be doing), but that just shows the strength you carry with you every day.
I can’t make MS go away. It is a part of my life now. One thing I have done and something I learned early on is that I can’t let MS control me. It may keep me from being able to do the things I usually do and it may stop me from fulfilling the plans I thought were important when I could walk, talk and think correctly, but I refuse to let those obstacles stop me from living.
Plans in our life change. They have been changing every day since we were born. I can remember in first grade wanting to be a teacher, then by sixth grade I decided I was going to be a roller derby athlete. At age 18 I finally decided I wanted to become a computer engineer which yet again shifted to a web developer and graphic designer. Then MS came along and brought about a new change. Now I find myself a writer most of all.
You can look back at your own life and see similar changes in plans. MS will cause you to readjust your life, but it’s important to go with the flow rather than letting the changes stop you from living.
MS has taught me the importance of laughing in the moment and never letting my attitude become negatively focused. Does that mean I don’t cry or have a bad day emotionally? No. I have those days…more times than people realize. And when I do, I allow myself 30 minutes to have my meltdown pity-party where I cry, scream, rant and ask all the “why me” questions. Then once I let it all out, I take a deep breath, shake everything off and move forward.
I can’t change MS, but I can change me. Sometimes it’s a fight, but I’d rather be a person moving forward in life than one being held back or stuck in a puddle of mud.
Find something you can do in life and do it with all your heart. It may seem small and meaningless, but don’t forget life is made up of small things. The big things get the recognition, but it’s the small things that really matter. Shift with the changes and when the down days come, keep living.