Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dark Places and Climbing Mt. Everest

It's hard to believe that May is coming to an end. MS has caused me to miss Spring this year. An exacerbation put me in the hospital followed by a stint in Rehab. A reminder that no matter what I do, how hard I try, what treatments I take, or pills I swallow, ultimately MS calls the shots. We can do everything in our power to prevent an exacerbation. Yet, the reality is MS will come to call whenever it wishes and do whatever damage it wants. It has a life of it's own, and it doesn't play nice or fair.

I've learned a lot over the past two months. I've learned how frustrated and angry I can become. I've learned what it feels like to go to a really "dark" place where I realized that no matter how much love and support I had around me, ultimately I was alone. I alone had to have the strength to pull away from the darkness that had enveloped me and fight to get back to life and living. Not only to get back to the people who loved me, but I had to get back to ME. I alone had to work hard in therapy to regain whatever function I could, and now, while I have a tremendous amount of support, it's me alone that is fighting to regain some sort of ability to get upright and become as independent as I possibly can.

Which brings me back to getting back ME. I've always been a fighter. I've always pushed myself as hard as I could to accomplish whatever I set out to do. I've never taken failure well. It only made me push harder. This could be a huge plus when it comes to my current therapy and trying to walk in any way I can. It could also be a curse. I have to find the psychological "Happy balance" between the two. Begin realistic of what the outcome can really be and not only how hard I need to push myself to get there, but not looking at going no further as a failure.

Only I can do that. ME. The ME I'm still trying to get back to. The ME that was in that "dark" place long enough that it started being comfortable. The ME I actually lost for awhile. Even I know my "personality" isn't back yet. I don't laugh often and I prefer to be alone rather than with people. That's a 180 degrees difference than the way I was prior to this exacerbation. True, I have a lot to adjust to. That's part of it. The other part is accepting what is. As simple and complex as that. No one can do that but ME, but I also know I can't do it without the tremendous support system I have. All of you, my family, friends and most importantly a husband who believes in me and loves me unconditionally, walking or not.

I refuse to become bitter or give up, because there IS life before, during and after an exacerbation. No matter how bad that exacerbation is. SO, my task now is to finish finding ME. To work hard in therapy while learning to accept my limitations. To be an MS SURVIVOR and not a victim. I may never climb Mt. Everest, but I, like you, WILL climb my personal Mt. Everest EVERYDAY. We may not make the national news, or receive an award. However, it doesn't make the Mt. Everest you and I successfully climb everyday any less impressive.

1 comment:

JC said...

Well written.
I hope you have a nice weekend.