Imagine this – my favourite book is 657 pages, yet I have never passed page 350. Similarly, there is a wall in my house that is approximately 60% painted. And how could I forget, that one time one leg didn’t get shaved on the day of an important conference abroad. The one thing that all of these half-completed tasks have in common is me, stuck in something that resembled a relapse and dying to wiggle my way out to finish the other half of all of these things. For some reason, living with MS usually means that things don’t work out that way.
As time went on, I have added a few more brush strokes to the half-finished wall, but on the other hand, I have also added a few more half-finished books to my shelf. And while wearing a knee-length dress at the conference did serve as a quick fix, one leg was still rather unshaven. (Thankfully, listening to esteemed political figures doesn’t require the use of your legs, or hair for that matter.) Overall, if my limbs, books and paint brushes could talk, they would tell you that this was not my first half-done rodeo.
With relapsing/remitting MS, it can be difficult to plan your life around an illness that is as fickle as Shakespeare’s stars. In trying to work out what triggered relapses, I eventually found out its cadence and what worked and what didn’t. Analysing your MS might not be straightforward, but it does allow you to digest your diagnosis and learn from each event.
As time goes on, you can begin to appreciate the funny side of MS. Fear not, though, time truly does brush a lot of sharp edges of what at first seemed too dangerous to touch. So what if you have several projects lying idle until you feel better? We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day!
By not taking myself so seriously, my friends and I even worked to create the tagline of my blog, “Potholed brain, kickass mind!” Although too long a description to put on any business card, others have tagged me as “Neurologically missing a few meters of myelin, mentally replenishing it with serious Jagger-swagger.” I accepted both titles with hilarity, as you do when you are living with a neurological disease.
While not everyone can create a happy place inside themselves so shortly after being diagnosed with MS, we all have a natural source of strength that is waiting to be tapped. My personal view is based on the principle of “what I think, I become.” I have given myself permission to be happy again and I have rebranded myself as “neurologically compromised” instead of always saying, “I have MS.” So, what do you do to get you through half-finished tasks? Remember, what you think, you become. Try to avoid using negative words, because what is said cannot be unsaid, and it can take over your mind-set. Your illness is not the enemy of the state, and neither are you for that matter! It’s important to try to give yourself a break from allowing MS to overtake your happiness
As we start a new season, enjoy the little things in life, whether it is sitting outside for a while or going for a walk with your family and friends. Focus on the things that you CAN do rather than the things that you struggle with.