I heard time tick by this morning: 1 AM, 2 AM, 3 AM, 4 AM. I tried so hard to sleep. All attempts to get Mr. Sandman to pay me a visit failed even though I was exhausted. If there were any sheep to count I would have tried counting them, but all the sheep must have been out to pasture.
There comes a point during those sleepless moments when tossing and turning becomes so miserable that I have to get up to do something, even if that something is staring at the walls in the living room rather than the ones in the bedroom. At least it’s something different.
I moved myself to the couch in the living room where I sat listening to the crickets, frogs and birds. All of nature seemed to be awake with me. Maybe I should be counting chirps and croaks at this hour instead of trying to find fence jumping sheep.
As I sat on the couch I began to think about the past week. About how miserable, exhausted, lonely, limited and painful life can become. It seems no matter how hard I try to hold it together, my body keeps falling apart. That thought alone is enough to overwhelm a person. Maybe you have been there before too.
I’ve noticed that people are great at throwing out their cliché quotes of not giving up and about how much worse things could be at the most inappropriate times. I grow tired of the insensitive one-liners and sugar coated quips. Life is not a cliché and can’t be solved by one either.
I can be positive and still hurt, have fears, worry about tomorrow, and even cry, but the reality of multiple sclerosis doesn’t have to control my thoughts like it controls my body. MS may dictate everything else about my day, but I refuse to give it control of my thoughts.
Don’t let the things you can’t change be the focus of your day. Yes, MS is a terrible disease. Yes, you have to deal with some pretty terrible things in life because of it, but don’t let those things turn you into an upside-down, twisted-up, unripe, sour-faced lemon. You can still enjoy life no matter what you are facing or how hard life becomes.
Instead of spending your day grumbling about how lemon juice got squirted in your eye, take those lemons that have been handed to you – okay, maybe thrown at you – and turn them into the most incredible pitcher of lemonade ever. Put Tropicana and Fresh Farms to shame.
And, if you can’t make lemonade, why not cut them up and offer them to some of the insensitive people to suck on? It will give you a laugh to watch their faces as they turn inside out. Seeing their sour pucker could possibly cause you to lose your frown.
Today, choose to think about something that makes you smile rather than focusing on the pain. Choose to be the one in charge of your thoughts. Choose to live in spite of MS.