The holiday season has always been a time of reflection. The year passes by in a montage of memories. I am reminded of the past 11 months. The highs and the lows. My hopes and my aspirations. Those lives that have been lost and those that have just begun.
It’s my year in review. And as these moments pass, I am reminded of my blessings. Sometimes they are shrouded in progression and pain, and it can be difficult to see that beauty exists alongside the beast of a disease. In retrospect, I can better delineate.
I see just how many battles I have waged. And won. I am here, therefore I won. They might not have ended exactly how I would have preferred, but I am here to reflect on them. I think of those who are not here. Those whose battles were fought as valiantly as my own. And I give thanks for this moment.
Gratitude in the face of pain is trying. Thankfulness amid disability is challenging. Although difficult, both are essential to our ability to thrive. Since when has difficulty been a deterrent? We slay more dragons in a year than most will in a lifetime. Or three.
I am learning how to find blessings. Much like the Highlights puzzles of my youth, blessings are hidden in plain sight. They blend in among life’s everyday trials and tribulations. Only in hindsight can we comprehend their beauty.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, the seed planted has taken root. We unwittingly grow from these lessons. And as we do, we share them with those around us. Blessings will sometimes seem forever hidden. Remember that our perception dictates our view of reality. Try a new perspective and your perception will change. You will find that a bevy of blessings awaits.
It has been 11 years since my diagnosis, and I am still finding blessings left undiscovered. I know that in time, each will reveal itself.
Pain, progression, and symptomatology may require us to search a bit longer. But in this season of thanks and giving, I remain patient. I remember that nothing about fighting secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is a sprint. This marathon is long. But I am built to slay both dragons and darkness. I have hope. And hope shines from within like a beacon of light.
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