I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006. Although my life has taken many twists and turns since then, I’ve kept my chin up with my own brand of spectacularly relentless optimism.
Recently though, after taking our first family vacation in two years, I was feeling a bit down. Prior to this trip I hadn’t been well enough get on an airplane and travel much, so my husband and the boys had been vacationing without me, which I fully supported. I don’t think it makes sense for others to be deprived due to my limitations.
However, when we returned from our trip, I wasn’t feeling awesome. Some of my symptoms had increased and I felt somewhat anxious about that. I felt grumpy that instead of working out to feel good, I was digging myself out of a hole. It doesn’t really make much sense on a rational level, and yet, a lot was stirred up within me. I think travel does that to many people whether we’re dealing with chronic health issues or we’re in perfect physical shape.
In any event, to clear my head, I went down to our basement to have some quiet time. I wanted to move and stretch and do gentle yoga. As my mind cleared and my anxiety died down, I was filled with new feelings that were not familiar to me.
In my typical world outlook, everything has a reason. Even the smallest events have meaning, and my life is filled with purpose. But, for a few minutes, I let that view unravel and allowed my mind to wander. As my thoughts moved around, I wondered, what if I have this illness for no reason at all" What if I’m sick and it simply sucks" What if there are no lessons to learn" What if this isn’t supposed to make me a better person" How can I make any sense at all of the damage this disease has done to me, and by extension to my family"
For a few short minutes I let myself feel the weight of having been diagnosed with this serious neurological condition that we refer to as multiple sclerosis. I...