I grew up sailing the San Francisco Bay. My summers were spent in sailing school. My father’s daughter, I loved being on the water. There was no place more peaceful or exhilarating.
That serenity turned to turbulence one cold and foggy day. While speeding downwind, our boat broached. The bow dipped below the water’s surface, knocking me down hard. Harnessed in, I panicked as two-thirds of the boat submerged. My frozen fingers could not detach the harness.
Within seconds it was over. We were upright and safe. But I now feared the thing I had once loved.
Fear is a powerful provocateur. Our minds can take an experience or perception and create a lasting narrative. Living with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is a lesson in metabolizing fear. Life before MS was synonymous with sailing. Free and fluid, I was agile in both my abilities and desires. Multiple sclerosis was my broach. Its sudden onset shook my world. My speech, mobility, dexterity, and cognition all took a hit.
I lived in anticipation of my next exacerbation. The anxiety left me far more disabled than the MS. I was afraid of doing too much. I was afraid of doing too little. Panic left me paranoid and exhausted.
I soon realized this was unsustainable. There was zero space in the universe for both panic and peace. I decided to reconstruct where I could focus my efforts. Living with multiple sclerosis meant losing that which no longer served my best interests. I adjusted my expectations and created real-life solutions for healthier living.
I began dismantling each aspect of my disease. What did I fear most? Which did I need to learn more about? Which did I stress about the most?
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?