In a recent blog post, I wrote about trying to find a balance between life and MS. To be honest, around that time, I was really struggling to compartmentalize my dealings with multiple sclerosis from living my life. I received some comments that led me to believe we are all searching for that mystical “holy grail,” and finding that balance with a chronic illness may not be that easy.
I realized that I was internalizing a lot of comments and emotions that I was seeing on social media, and it was starting to really wear on me. I’ve always considered myself to be extremely positive against this disease but I was feeling overwhelmed. I know people need to vent and they truly need support but I was feeling powerless seeing people struggle, or being negative or misinformed about multiple sclerosis. To be completely honest, seeing how MS affects people each and every day was really affecting me, and not in a good way.
I needed to take a break and step away from MS for a while. I needed to give myself distance in order to gain back perspective. I think, like anything, our strength and resolve ebbs and flows, and mine was definitely waning during the past couple of months. I was letting the “MonSter” get the best of me, and realistically, that’s going to happen from time to time. I mean, how can it not when it is something we deal with each and every day? But I have to realize that it’s ok that I let it affect me. I am human and I wouldn’t be normal if MS didn’t affect me. But enough is enough! Now it’s time for me to get back on track.
During the past several weeks, I’ve tried to unplug a bit and give myself some distance from the MS universe, especially the social media groups. I decided to try and concentrate on what it means to me to “LiveWise” with MS. I’ve discovered that part of “living wise” is focusing on what I can do, and how I feel towards MS. I’ve had 14 years to arrive at some sense of peace with MS, and I need to stay focused on my resolve, my fight, and my overall approach to living with a chronic illness.
So it is time to put MS back in its place for now and remember that MS has given me amazing perspective. I value and cherish life and appreciate all that I can still do and accomplish. I had always considered myself healthy and strong in the physical sense but never realized how strong I could be mentally. It is true that we don’t know our own fortitude until we are forced to make a decision. Do we let MS define us or do we empower ourselves against it?
I have chosen empowerment. I choose my life and MS will not overtake me. MS may try its hardest to take my body and mind but there is something that it will never take and that is my spirit.
Stay tough, fellow MS Warriors! Every day that we get up and live our lives is a win for all of us. I believe we are getting closer and closer to a cure with every breath we take. I will continue to cheer you on in your triumphs, and listen when you need to vent. We just need to hold on to that hope and that steadfastness for ourselves and for each other. I truly believe, and know with every fiber of my being, that we can do this!