My eyes are closed. Both arms are in a loose “X” across my chest. I feel my heartbeat quicken as I lean back. I fall. For a moment in time, I am afraid. But before fear takes over, a dozen hands cradle me instead.
A trust fall.
This team-building exercise, in which a person deliberately falls and trusts members of a group to catch them, was done during a three-day workshop. Self-discovery and self-improvement involved relinquishing control. The fear of hitting the ground was eclipsed only by the rush of being caught. I let go and my team had me.
That was two decades ago. One decade before my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS). So much has changed. Can anyone trust fall with a disease like MS? I could say the right thing and offer platitudes. Yet I am left to wonder. I have a loving husband and family who are very much there for me. They are caring and involved. They are supportive.
But this is MS.
I cannot trust fall. This disease is unwieldy. I am afraid to let go. I am unable to close my eyes. I am unwilling to trust. I refuse to fall. I am scared to fall. But that does not preclude me from doing so. It only creates a fear-based reality. My God calls for more. He calls for faith. That faith leads me from fear into acceptance.
This is my MS.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease. It has zero emotional context until we apply such. If we apply fear, we create that association. Similarly, if we hope, we create that. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can experience fear without creating a narrative. I am often uplifted by this reminder. I choose to live with my disease rather than fear it. This cognitive choice has saved me from me.
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