Retreating from the Noise: the Importance of Peace

Teresa Wright-Johnson avatar

by Teresa Wright-Johnson |

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metamorphosis, a need for peace

Patiently Awakened

Our world is chaotic right now. I literally have to disengage from social media and periodically turn off the news just to rejuvenate my spirit and find some peace. It is difficult to remain positive in a pessimistic society. We are divided by politics and spiritual beliefs. We are surrounded by violence and hatred. These social ills are affecting our bodies, minds, and spirits.

We are worried about healthcare and how new laws may reduce our care and quality of life. I have always had a pre-existing illness, yet I am still a person. I am not just a statistic like the data reports. Neither are you. We have a life, a name, and we matter.

Many have lost so much already. Physically, financially, and spiritually, MS and chronic illness have depleted them. I often wonder how we can thrive in this current atmosphere, when many of us are just simply trying to survive. It can be disheartening.

The skepticism and the current climate are affecting me. I feel as though I am experiencing a lessened state of wellness, and it is time for me to take a step back. The notion of stepping back is what led me to write this week’s column.

At times, we have to retreat to a place of peace and quiet. The location may be different for everyone, but the goal is identical. The place of peace is where we go to disconnect from the noise for a while. That place where we think about what’s really important as we connect with and redirect our spirits. Here, we remember that regardless of what is going on around us, we have to withstand adversity and remain true to who we are. We are reminded of our purpose.

I was always told of the importance of my voice and the power of my reach. I was taught to speak up for myself and others, and to challenge injustice. Writing and advocacy are so important to me for those reasons. Writing from my personal experiences takes much thought, reflection, vulnerability and strength. My benevolent work has led me to define my purpose and it is allowing me to live my passion.

For me, this is the bigger picture. I realize that it is futile to participate in any situation that is not conducive to my peace and wellness. I cannot allow the noise to block the voice of my intuition and intention. My quiet place redirects me to this realization. I ingest bits and pieces of the serenity prayer, recharge, and try to do what I can to change the current condition.

As people with MS and chronic illness, we must maintain our state of mind. In times of doubt, dissension and turmoil, we are mandated to live our truth. It is easy to succumb to conflict. I have concluded that any attempt to compromise my inherent self is a tariff that is too expensive to pay. Years of doubt and insecurity have led me to an empowered, purposed, empathetic and unapologetic existence.

I know that life is worth fighting for. I recognize that my voice and my writing may encourage someone else. I am obedient to the fact that I have to live, give and share, regardless of what is occurring in the world. I am certain that words, followed by actions, effect change.

When I avow that I am an MS warrior and a heart survivor, I do so with pride, knowing all of the obstacles I had to withstand to arrive here.

MS and chronic illness teaches us that we must focus on today, nourish our minds, and fully embrace all that we are. The most valuable lesson learned from a peaceful state is that no one and nothing can stand in the way of our purpose.

My hope is that you face adversity with your head up, keep an open heart, retreat when you must, and live your best life. Times change. People and their opinions change. Character remains and purpose perseveres.

“Take time to be quiet.” ― Zig Ziglar


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Louise York avatar

Louise York

This is my life but worse, living in so much pain & not having the physical or mental energy to take myself out of my bed because I simply just can’t get up. I had Bacterial Meningitis a few weeks ago due to having MS & a diminished immune system, I went crazy for days/weeks I feel I am only just getting myself back from it, I also feel so weak & ill that I can’t move, a few weeks after the meningitis & nearly dying the first time I was rushed into hospital again due to the drugs I am already on & the drugs they gave me for the meningitis my body reacted badly to it & my kidneys, liver etc & an infection somewhere I was put more meds but all my ms meds & pain meds they messed up even me going into hospital with a prescription sheet of my medications they messed them up & as we know our bodies do not react very well to change to medications & my body was reacting like crazy the pain was excruciating and unreal but nobody listened until I had a lovely nurse one night who knew about MS & she listened to me & my daughter & she gave me the right meds from my own supply & I started to feel better & reacted to the meds they were giving me positively so she got the doctor to come & see me & stayed with me to talk for me as I’ve found I’ve lost the ability to explain myself to people just lately since the meningitis, I just haven’t been the same, I can’t fight, I just can’t something has happened to me & I can’t explain it & Doctors don’t wanna hear “since having meningitis I just feel wrong & I haven’t felt right or the same” they want certainty & I can’t give it! I need support & help & it isn’t being given to me, I haven’t got a big family, it’s just my children & they have been through so much with the MS the amount of near fatal infections I’ve had & seizures & now bacterial meningitis, me going completely crazy & not even recognising my own children anymore, acting like a complete animal but they still wanna stand by me & love me so much but I just feel like a complete burden I really do & I feel myself going, slipping away from them! I was so strong all through my life & it wasn’t easy so much hurt & pain & loss but I always kept my strength but now it’s gone, I don’t feel strong anymore, I’ve always fought but I can’t fight anymore, there comes a time where u just want someone else to fight for you & the kids just aren’t enough, I love them so so much but I just mess their lives up, they have to miss events with their friends as they have to look after mum & that to me is so so wrong it should be me looking after them as it’s always been, I’ve raised my children with hardly any help, my eldest sons father was there in the distance and now he is here as much as he can be without me taking over his life like I have my kids and my best friend but she lives I’ve 90 miles away approximately, they are all the glue that keep me going and keep us all together but I don’t always tell them the truth as I don’t want to bother or burden their lives as they have their own things going on so I lie and say I’m ok or fine just in pain and they all go and carry on with their lives & that makes me happy, watching them live life as I don’t seem to be able to anymore, I’m bedbound, housebound & Wheelchair bound if that all makes sense, I don’t go out as I can’t in my self propelling Wheelchair, I haven’t got the strength to propel myself for a whole journey somewhere so I say in coz like I said I just don’t want to bother my loved ones, so now I’m frightened to go out, I can’t walk or get around without my chair so I remain in bed as the laying down position makes me feel better than the sitting up position, I feel weak, ill & just can’t cope with it anymore so that is how my life is & I have my days when I feel sorry for myself but most of the time now I stay laying in my bed in excruciating pain watching tele, series after series of programs I love, light even effects me now as I’ve spent so much time in my dark bedroom laying in my bed trying to pretend to everyone I’m okay but now it’s not working so much anymore because I’m not okay anymore not since the meningitis, I am sick, maybe a relapse because of all the stress my body & brain have had to deal with but like I said because I can’t expla myself properly nobody wants to hear they look at me like I’m not quite there & trust me I am fully here in my head yes my memory is awful & I can’t remember what happens anymore even on the day it happens if I don’t tell my son or write it down I forget so I can’t explain anything! I need help but nobody sees or wants to see! I feel invisible now just like my illnesss!

Lynda - avatar

Lynda -

Louise, you made me want to cry. I couldn't - just an upwelling of incredible sorrow and pain for you. You have spoken out and this is the first part of your return journey. Become selfish for a bit. You are still putting others first instead of yourself.
I gave of myself all my life and supported my family, extended family, friends and nursed my dying husband all the while battling MS which I totally ignored until I had a major relapse. When he passed on and a year later I could finally retire. I have become a selfish recluse when it suits me. Quiet days, no stress from the outside world and reconnect with my inner being. When the strength is back, off I go again until next time.
I can't nor will have the temerity to tell you what to do. That is in your hands. My ears are always open, God bless

Fran Thomason avatar

Fran Thomason

You sound like you are very ill. Could you be completely honest about how sick you are right now. Do you have a nurse with you? Who is taking care of you? Sincerely, Fran

Teresa Wright-Johnson avatar

Teresa Wright-Johnson

Dear Louise,
I am sad to hear of all you are going through. You've been through so much and my heart aches from all of your pain and suffering. Thank you for sharing and for reaching out. Louise, I cannot provide any medical advice because I am not a medical professional. Your medical staff should be able to assist you. I am hoping they can help guide you to some resources. I see you, I hear you and I'm praying for you. The National MS Society may also be of assistance to you in some way. Their phone number is 1-800-344-4867. Bless you now and always.


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