Recently, I’ve been struggling through an MS flare. I have been numb, mostly from my neck down, which is reminiscent of my first relapse eight years ago.
Numb and slightly weak hands make it extremely difficult to draw. And this is happening just as I had planned to head into a new career in illustration. The result is that it knocked my emotions off-kilter.
A friend suggested I try hypnotherapy. I’d never heard of it before.
My anxiety was out of control each day, and I’d have moments when the slightest thing would trigger a downward mental spiral ending in tears. I would cry over nothing at any given moment. I felt so raw, upset, and exposed.
Once again, eight years in, the career I want feels out of reach. How can I commit to a career in illustration if my hands can’t draw? These are the same questions I had eight years ago.
When I received my MS diagnosis, I had just left the university and woke up one morning numb on my left side. It prompted feelings of uncertainty, worry, and panic — emotions that came flooding back now.
“Ok, I’ll give this hypnotherapist a go if you think it would help,” I told my friend.
The hypnotherapist’s website advertised a free consultation for new clients, and it required me to fill in a form. A box asked, “In one or two words, what would you like help with?”
“Oh boy,” I thought. It must have taken me an hour to decide which two words to write. I felt like I had a gazillion things I needed help with, and nothing felt right in my life at the moment. How could I pick just one or two words?
In the end, I tentatively wrote down “anxiety.”
“I hope I’m able to speak, and I don’t just cry!” I thought. Worry rattled around my mind as I pushed the button to book the appointment.
The free consultation was a telephone call — a telephone call! I can’t remember the last time I spoke with someone on the phone in these new days of Zoom, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The thought of talking on the phone when I couldn’t see the person on the other end filled me with a ton of fear and anxiety.
“Be fearless, Jess. It’s just a phone call so he can figure out if he can fix you. You can do this,” I told myself. I was scared, and my motivational pep talk was admittedly failing to keep me positive.
On the day of the call, the first thing he asked was, “Tell me where you’re at?” My fear came true: I burst into tears. Where do I even begin?
I told him everything. The career I can’t seem to access because of my unpredictable body. The fact I feel lost with what to do with my life. Not knowing how I would make a living? There were so many things.
He didn’t seem to know much about MS, so I gave him an introductory education. I wondered if this would affect things.
I cried a lot during that call, and he respectfully repeated, “It’s OK, take your time.” He must have this happen to him often, right?
We’ve booked our first hypnotherapy session, and I’m both interested and terrified at what will happen. Opening up to someone you barely know and telling them your deepest thoughts is weird, right?
Have you ever seen a hypnotherapist? Did it work for you? Please share in the comments below.
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.
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