Focusing on What I Can Do Rather Than What I Can’t
This year, I’ve been acutely aware that my body isn’t perfect.
Sometimes it doesn’t move well. Sometimes it cuts off sensation in my limbs without notice. Sometimes it gets wiped out from fatigue. Sometimes it’s like MS shakes up my head so hard, like a can of soda, that I blurt out words in the wrong place, in the wrong order, and at the wrong time.
This is my version of living with multiple sclerosis.
Occasionally, my limbs start falling out with each other like squabbling siblings. One leg twitches while the other tingles. One hand is weak while the other brags strength. And the next minute it all changes.
I’ve accepted that I can’t win, so instead, I choose to be happy with what I have.
Despite all these annoyances, I appreciate what my body can still do. I know anything can happen at any moment, and things can always get worse unexpectedly. I could either worry constantly or handle things one day at a time. So, I’m adjusting to my new normal as I go.
Before MS, I used to worry about so many things that I now realize don’t matter, such as what people will think of my new haircut. In reality, it doesn’t matter.
Illness has given me a completely different understanding of life, and I’ve learned to let go of the reins. I’ve done a lot of hard work on myself, and it took a lot to get to this stage of compassion. I am always focused on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.
Don’t get me wrong, MS makes things challenging at times. Yes, my left hip is still weak from a previous flare. Yes, it pains me to say I still can’t run after my last relapse. (But I’m getting stronger every day.) Yes, the heat turns my brain into sludge, and it’s hard to concentrate. Yes, it’s hot today, which automatically means I’m exhausted.
I’ve learned things will go wrong with multiple sclerosis, but it’s how we perceive these events that affects our overall sanity.
This year, my MS journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s taught me a lot. I choose to see it as the wake-up call I need to:
- Manage my stress better
- Eat better
- Exercise more
- Take time to rest
- Do more of what I enjoy in life
Living with MS requires internal strength, courage, and resilience. I didn’t have much of those qualities when I was diagnosed. I had to develop them along the way. This helped me survive difficult times and appreciate good times.
As long as we’re doing everything in our power to live well with what we have, that’s enough.
MS is different for everyone, and we all have various symptoms, relapses, and experiences. It’s up to us how to perceive this illness.
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.