It has been a while since I’ve written a column. Within one month, two of my relatives have passed away. Spiritually, I believe in eternal life. However, in my earthly existence, death has left its sting. Multiple deaths, physical pain, and disappointments have catapulted me into a cycle of grief. I am more than ready to end this psychological warfare. My mind longs to be free of desolation. I’m writing to confirm that even in brokenness, I will climb out from the abyss.
For the past few weeks, I’ve felt as though I have fallen apart. My emotions get the best of me at times. These times have compromised my tolerance level. I’m often agitated, and my spirit is heavy. My husband and parents have expressed their concerns. Most recently, one of my closest friends weighed in. My friend told me I’m not the Teresa she once knew. I used to be fun and lively, she said. That’s a paraphrase, but you get the picture. I cogitated on this for days. My friend is absolutely right. I am not the “Teresa” I used to be. Life is full of change, and it has undoubtedly changed me. Illness has changed me. Pain has changed me. I have adjusted to a new normal, and it was imperative for me to do so.
Nonetheless, I am still Teresa. There is joy and there is sorrow. Periods of bitterness and bliss. Pain and unwavering faith. I am an extension of love, even in irksome moments. To expect me, or indeed anyone, to be happy all of the time is a fallacy. Aggravating circumstances and impediments to happiness exist. It is called life. No one walks in my shoes, nor can I walk in theirs. We are on our own paths, and I am comfortable in knowing that I am trying my best. I am the blade of grass that sprouts through the concrete. In despondency, I am whole.
I have physical and emotional scars. Holes in my soul and broken pieces. Ashes from the raging fires that surfaced in my life. Yet still I stand. My scars scream survivor. The holes and broken pieces allow the light to enter. The ashes signify that not all is lost. Hope is salvaged. As I sit and allow myself the time to grieve in the darkness, I will summon the light. Ascending from the cavity of gloom, I know there are better days ahead.
In closing: To anyone who may be having a difficult time, desolation is not your destination. Down does not mean out. MS and chronic illness significantly alter our lives, yet we still have our lives. The Serenity Prayer has been my saving grace throughout this time. As I reflect on the lives of those I’ve lost, I am reminded that life is fleeting. It is up to me to live well. Mind, body, and soul. Please send positive vibes my way as I climb from the bottom up.
“Proverbially, MS is a mountain that I am scaling one day at a time. I have moments where I slip and sometimes may even fall. The beauty is that I keep trying.” –Teresa Wright-Johnson, “The MS Mountain,” from “Something on Our Minds, Volume 4”:
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.