We live in a messed up world in a messed up body with a messed up disease, so when things get messed up around us…why are we so surprised? Don’t let the messes mess up your day. Sure they have a way of ruining even a good day, but hidden in the chaos are little pockets of smiles. Hang onto those smiles because they are what help get you through the most difficult times.
Growing up in a family of seven, we had our fair share of messes. I loved baking and would enter contests from time to time. As a ten year old I could make a killer lemon cake. It won me a blue ribbon more than once.
I was taught to clean up as you go. I had fun as I gathered all my ingredients; measured out what I needed; sifted, mixed, cracked, whipped, poured, and baked. The entire time I was also cleaning up, putting away, rinsing and washing to keep from having too big of a mess. By time the cake was in the oven, I was ready to watch it rise.
Now my oldest brother, that was a different story. You let him loose in the kitchen and it would turn out looking like a tornado hit it. He had no concept of order, he just had fun. He could make some amazing oatmeal cookies, scrambled eggs and even sirloin steaks, you just didn’t want to go in the kitchen afterwards. It was messier than messy. It was what I called confused chaos. It would take him time, but the kitchen would eventual get cleaned up looking just as amazing as his food tasted.
We both had messes to face, we just chose our own way of dealing with them. I would tackle things bit by bit as they came along and he would wait to attack them all at once. We both had fun, we both had messes, but in the end we both had something amazing.
It bothers me when people come along trying to dictate how to live with multiple sclerosis. What makes people think they’re the experts at living with a chronic illness? If I choose to follow a certain diet, something different than you…am I wrong, or are you wrong? If I choose to not take meds and you choose to take them…am I wrong, or are you? If I chose to visit a doctor and you chose to stay home, who’s right and who’s wrong?
You see, we each have our own lives, our own messes, our own chaos and our own fun. No one is right or wrong in how they go about living with MS. There are always things we could do better and new things to learn, but NEVER should we act as if we are the guru of all knowledge and wisdom regarding something as unknowable as multiple sclerosis, because we aren’t. It’s just that each of us deals with the mess it causes differently.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because they chose something different than you. You be you and do what you know you need to do for yourself. Be unique, be crazy, make a mess, try new things, make mistakes and even succeed…but most of all, hang onto the smiles around you and enjoy living. That’s what matters most anyway.
There’s only one you and only one today, but there is a potential for lots and lots of smiles to help you through this mess called life. Choose to find the smiles.