A Life Unscripted: Choosing Positivity During a Pandemic

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

by Jennifer (Jenn) Powell |

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neuropathy, positivity, husband, laughter, connecting, i am fine, self-care and MS, finding myself

Life is unscripted. It is messy and uncertain, with change being the only constant. Much like living with multiple sclerosis, adapting to change is directly correlated to our ability to thrive. We are reminded of this as we adjust to our new reality in the throes of COVID-19.

Seemingly overnight, the world as we know it has ceased to exist. Simple errands pose mortal threats. We must see friends and family only from a safe distance, if at all. As the number of people infected increases, so do the number of fatalities. I am living what until now had remained fiction. Melancholy overwhelms me as I acclimate to a life of lockdowns and social distancing. I want to go back.

It has been difficult to metabolize all that has changed. The emergence of COVID-19 has proven to be fiscally and psychosocially catastrophic. I worry about those in my world and the world in general. But worry feeds my disease, especially in the absence of any disease-modifying therapy. The stress is palpable, and my MS is calling “uncle!” I feel the physical effects on my body as my symptoms exacerbate.

The good news? I can utilize tools to minimize the effects of stress on my body and, therefore, the disease. Never underestimate your ability to do the same. I recall some guided meditations that have helped me to the point of lowering my heart rate. I also turn off television and turn on classical music. The change is notable. I am cautious of my caffeine intake and choose something more conducive to my overall goal. Taken as one, I see little changes. Taken together, I make a sizable shift.

So can you.

The ramifications of the coronavirus are far-reaching. Every aspect of our daily lives is affected. Before California’s governor mandated that we stay inside, I chose to self-isolate. I did so not only for myself but also for those at a high risk of death from COVID-19. Staying at home is not ideal, but it is necessary. I am part of the solution. This positive narrative will better serve my physical and emotional well-being.

While home, I have created small, achievable goals. In this way, I can continue to be productive. It is imperative to create a structure with any long-term situation such as this. My psyche is better for having both structure and tasks to complete.

Even during a time of hardship, I choose to stay positive. Doing so is dually beneficial: I not only help my mood, I also self-motivate to be a better version of myself. In doing so, I can help others do the same.

I do not need a virus to tell me that is truly what matters most.


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.


Lori D avatar

Lori D

Well said!!!!

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell

Thank you, Lori!


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