In the school of “hard knocks” I am am becoming an honor student…so to speak.
My Multiple Sclerosis is progressing faster now than it ever has. But…I will not let it bring me down. I must continue being grateful and live in a happy place despite adversity.
Believe it or not….and you may have heard this from others dealing with hardship…..living with chronic illness and the challenges that it brings, really brings out my inner strength. I surprise myself in many ways. I would have thought I’d be depressed and sad by the limitations I’m living with. Before I was diagnosed with MS, I didn’t even think about what it would be like living with it and frankly, why would I think about it. Why would anybody think about it?
Before I was diagnosed and was still living a normal healthy life, I would see people in wheelchairs or on scooters and not think twice about what they were going through….if they were suffering or in pain….or just what their story was. Now that I’ve joined the ranks of the handicapped I’m very interested in the stories of others with disabilities. It’s inspiring to hear about others and their hardships and how they overcome adversity.
I am “in tune” with my blessings more now than I’ve ever been in my 57 years of life. It took some soul searching, some pity parties, listening to other people who have overcome tragedy or illness, just stopping to smell the roses.
One thing I know for sure is that my MS does not define me. I’ve learned that I have an inner strength and strong character and that my issues are minor in the grand scheme of things. Of course, it can be very frustrating at times but that is part of the adapting process.
In the beginning of my slow decline to being disabled with MS I would think “Oh my goodness…how will I ever survive not being able to walk like I use to or not be able to cook the way I use to, go shopping like I use to, golf like I use to and on and on this “how will I every survive” went”. I was taking the victim route and it was oh so tiring. But over time I have learned to focus on the good stuff and embrace my new normal. I have grieved the “use to be able to”. It’s behind me now. The transition did not happen overnight. I had to accept the big changes or I was destined to live a life of helpless depression. Now I do what I can. I ask for help when I need it. And life goes on.
There are so many people in this world suffering worse hardships than I am. I have a loving hubby, a big supportive family, a network of beautiful friends, a roof over my head, a comfortable bed to rest in every night, healthy and nourishing food in my well stocked kitchen, a reliable set of wheels to get me from A to B, money in the bank, two dogs who cuddle with me and show me unconditional love and the list goes on. I am blessed in so many ways.
I still go to the gym 3 days a week. Yes, I do. I certainly can’t run on the treadmill or bounce around like I use to but I SHOW UP. My trainer puts me through my paces based on my energy levels on each individual day. Sometimes it’s tough just getting out of bed each morning but I get up, and SHOW UP. That is just the way has to be.
I can live a happy, fulfilling life despite being handicapped. I know this to be true. I just count my blessings everyday. I do what I can with what I’ve got to work with.
A big message out of experiencing a life with challenges such as an unexpected handicap is “NEVER TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED”. Your health could be ripped out from under you in a nanosecond. Try to live in the present. Count your blessings every day.