There’s a show on TV called Hoarders and it’s about just that, people who keep so much crap in their house that they literally can’t get into rooms and sometimes even find dead animals buried beneath the plethora of….everything! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about hoarding. What do people keep and refuse to give up and why? While I am not a hoarder of things, I’ve recently realized that I am a hoarder of unnecessary emotions. There are too many things I care about that I really shouldn’t. I know that stress isn’t good for anyone and with MS you physically feel stress and that can actually be quite scary at times. I know this intellectually but the hoarder in me can’t help itself. I carry so many feelings of worry, doubt and frustration that’s doing nothing but making my face numb, my toes burn, my mouth forget how to say words and my legs wobble- equally embarrassing at times as frightening. Some of the emotions I’m hoarding have to do with my MS but most of them have to do with really ridiculous things and people. I really frustrate myself sometimes! So, I need to clean house so to speak and give myself room to feel better, sleep better and smile better. There are things worthy of keeping, some forever and others for only a period of time. There are also things that should never be allowed in your head and heart and some that only need to be there for a while. The first step is always recognizing the problem which I have. Now, I need to devise a plan to throw away a bunch of crap….for good.
Even if you’ve already seen this many times it remains powerful. I love U2, this song and the message.
There’s always something we want to do, have, change or be. It may be buying a new car, shedding unwanted pounds, writing a book or becoming a better version of yourself, whatever that might mean to you. I’ve never been a car person but I’ve wanted to lose weight, be a better wife, mother and friend and bringing myself to start this blog was a huge leap of faith for me! There are pressures that have been there for as long as I can remember that served as motivation for me. I want to look good in a bathing suit, I want my family to be nourished in every sense of the word, I want people to like me and want to be my friend and I want to put my thoughts into the universe in hopes that I might reach another soul who not only understands them but who can maybe even be changed by them. I’ve wanted all these things for a long time but now, while still wanting them the same and wanting the same outcomes, I’m motivated to accomplish all of them by something different-fear. I am scared that the day will come that I won’t be able to write, think clearly, cook, clean, do my daughter’s hair, watch lacrosse games, attend music performances, lift weights, run, walk, see. I am scared so I am now laying my foundation. I’m working out regularly, I’m almost always present at all the things my children do, I host parties for my children and their friends as well as mine and my husbands. I don’t want anyone to forget how I am now and how I have been present. I want my friends to still want to be my friend even if I’m not so much fun to hang around. I especially want my husband to feel like he’s had a good wife and my children to feel like they’ve had a good mother. If I push myself and stay committed to all the things I’m still able to do, I will have a better chance of these things. I also take the phrase “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” to heart and task. I need to read, write and learn to exercise my brain just like I need to strengthen my body to give myself a better chance of beating the odds. I am too scared not to.
Everyone reminisces and daydreams. Today, along with everyone else with a disease like MS, I’m thinking about Christmases of yesterday as well as trying to imagine my Christmases in the future. I’m trying to balance my emotions and especially my fears. When I think of Christmases in the past I’m left with not only smiles from the memories but regret because I’m sure I could have appreciated it all more at the time. When I imagine my future Christmases I immediately fret about the scary possibilities. Fortunately, I almost immediately have excitement for how it can be. I could still be relapse free and even better I could be symptom free. It seems like as soon as one new therapy is released talk of three more is all the buzz. This is a gift indeed. As the story goes I will too. I can only react to today and by realizing all that is good, even with my MS, I am laying the groundwork for merry Christmases to come as well as seeing my past Christmases through a rosier lens. Despite my MS, I am truly blessed. Merry Christmas!
While whether to have MS or not is most definitely not a choice, there are numerous choices I do get to make everyday. I think MS leaves it’s sufferers feeling so vulnerable that anywhere we can find a sense of control is empowering. The trick, however, is to choose healthy choices obviously physically but also mentally. Having someone or something to blame for any part of this disease gives a sense of control because if someone or something is controlling it there is essentially that-some control. There is a fork in the road here and I feel like each direction is taken equally. The road I’ve taken is a trusting road. I trust that my MS environment is a good one and that all the people and things in it are here to honestly help me. The other road is jaded and an untrusting road. I can understand why people choose this road and why it’s there in the first place. The people on this road feel like money is all that drives the people and things on their road. If there’s a cure, people stop getting rich. Even keeping us well deplete their pockets. There’s even a new phrase that I believe stems from this road- “Big Pharma”. This is how people refer to the pharmaceutical industry in a bad way. There’s a consensus amongst a growing number of people who believe the pharmaceutical industry, doctors and the FDA are all in this scheme together to get rich off of our suffering. While I do think there are people in these groups that are only motivated by money, I believe that the vast majority are truly wanting to help and be a part of exciting changes. So, I choose not to be jaded and to get my hope and control from a place with good, honest intentions. My body has already let me down, but my heart hasn’t and it won’t be broken by choosing to walk along a dimly lit path.