When Loss Is Expected, How Do We Cope?
It is hard to watch the decline in real time. It happens before my very eyes. Like “Groundhog Day,” I wake, I try, and I do.
I persevere because that is who I am. I push past the chaos in my body. I don’t see every new pain as a reason to worry. I don’t find each fall a cause for concern. But then it happens: A seismic shift occurs, and the progressive nature of my disease is front and center.
I don’t sweat the small quakes in my life. I expect grief and loss to happen. Perhaps I am too nonchalant, but I can’t afford to fixate on every new ache, pain, or phenomenon. They are inevitable. I gloss over loss to cope with this disease. If I don’t create space for the myriad hurts, perhaps they won’t exist.
Pro tip: This does not work, and they do exist. Yet, I do this as a way to cope with life with multiple sclerosis. It has nothing to do with intellect or emotional health. It has everything to do with a desire to be free. I want to live free from what my disease dictates. I long to work more, play more, sleep more, travel more, exercise more, learn more, and love more. I long to hurt less, resent less, cry less, fall less, argue less, lie awake less, medicate less, and isolate less.
The tragedy of chronic disease is that loss becomes white noise. I choose to push past what would be a roadblock for most. I step over the cracks as they appear. I have no illusions about their existence. But I do not stop and breathe life into them. Instead, I improvise, adapt, and move forward.
Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease. It is full of unknowns and not for the weak of heart. I navigate through it as these earthquakes continue. I feel each one. However, I move through them with intention. I move through them with renewal and a will to survive.
In the absence of a cure, I give myself the grace to live my best life.
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.