There have beens days when I have looked back at what used to be and wished life was different. I have even envied others who didn’t have a disability. What? I shouldn’t think like that? Sure that’s easy to say, but thoughts happen, and in my head they happen more than I care to admit. I don’t think you would want to live a day in my head. It’s kinda scary in there. I can think of some crazy ideas and have some equally wild woe-is-me moments.
I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve never wanted things to be different, because I have. Those thoughts seem to appear most when the struggle is at its worst. I don’t like feeling that way, but it happens. That’s just me being real.
I could let multiple sclerosis sour my life and cause me to become as miserable as my body feels with thoughts of what used to be and what could have been, or I could let it teach me to become a better person. I loved learning when I was in school, and I guess it has carried over into my adult life as well. Sometimes the learning process is hard, but the lessons are invaluable.
One thing having a disability has taught me is to be thankful. I think of the many people who won’t even have the opportunity to get through today and that’s enough to make me appreciate everything I have, whether it’s pain, the inability to do something or the complications MS throws my way. I’m thankful through it all.
I have also learned that fear is real but I can overcome anything if I take my day and break it up into tiny chunks. A friend once told me that it’s easy to eat an elephant. Not a real elephant, mind you, but a giant obstacle you are facing. She said you do it one bite at a time. So that’s how I break my day up…one bite at a time. I may find things hard to swallow at times, but when I keep at it I find that I’m able to get through it. That impossible elephant suddenly becomes possible.
Having a disability has prepared me for the rest of my life. It has given me a better perspective on what’s really important. That highly successful career, big house, fancy car, and designer clothes, they are no longer a focus for me. Why do we strive all our lives for stuff and titles? Those things don’t matter in the end. What matters is loving people and knowing that you are loved. Everything could be stripped from me and I know I would make it. Other people…I doubt they could get through even one hour of what we face, let alone a full day.
Those of us living with a disability have an advantage over the rest of the world. We learn early on to appreciate the roses and the sunsets as well as the storm clouds and looming tsunamis. We get to choose to live life on our own terms… not how other people think it should be done. It may appear strange to others, but we aren’t trying to win an award. We just want to get through each day knowing that we did the best we could with what we were given.
You’ve got this. Don’t ever doubt your strength or your worth. You are a beautiful diamond. You’ve been through the crushing, the pressing, and the fire. Now’s your time to shine!