I sat stunned as tears welled. I gazed toward the pain in my knee. My pants were torn. Blood pooled, then dripped down my calf. I was transfixed. The contents of my purse were strewn beneath a car. I reached for my phone but recoiled from the pain in my hands. Both palms had road rash.
I sat up, confused. I looked down at the marble pavement. The drag of my foot drop had caught the marbling, and down I’d gone. I surveyed my surroundings and realized that I was alone. Only then did I release the enormity of my emotions. Sitting on the pavement in a parking lot, I hung my head and sobbed.
The catharsis was visceral and necessary. But it was far from over. In the privacy of my car, I let go. I was overcome with resentment. An infusion of anger ran through my veins. My body was at full tilt. I hit the steering wheel with fury. I screamed aloud and with abandon. I cursed this disease, its side effects, unfairness, and progression. I cursed my very being.
And then it was over. It took two miles to exorcise my demons. I pulled into my garage in stunned silence. I sat in my car and thought about my reaction — such a cacophony of emotions. My anger was enough to increase my blood pressure. While uncharacteristic, I wonder if this could be my new M.O.? Were active lesions intensifying my pseudobulbar?
I looked in the rearview mirror. I saw a deep sadness in the weary, bloodshot eyes staring back at me. And in those eyes, I found my answer.
I was grieving.
Grief is beguiling. While we all encounter loss, it manifests differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The only wrong would be to deny yourself the opportunity for healing. The enormity of my emotions speaks to grief being a continuum. What I had assumed to be extinct lay dormant. It took that fall on that day at that time to open the fissure.
I am grateful that it did. I do a great job of being happy because that is who I am. My grateful, effervescent self is grieving. Falling apart does not negate my being; it releases stress. Only then can I truly be myself.
Progressive multiple sclerosis commands that we pay attention to our emotional, spiritual, and physical selves. It is the ultimate trifecta, each third equally reliant on the other two for balance.
Or if you are me, un-balance.
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.