Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Different Kind of Blog

With my awesome MS supporters at Pedal to the Point, a ride of BikeMS. 
I am an eternal optimist, and 90% happy. We all have moments of sadness, and some of us even bouts of depression; how you deal with your situation defines you as a person, in my opinion. One of the saddest things I have seen over the past year, since I have been diagnosed with MS is how people deal with this disease. I by no means have any right to judge another person's journey, but I can reflect on other peoples' journey and decide whether I want to apply some of their lessons, wisdom, statements, etc. to me.

One of my friends listened to me cry for about two hours last night. You see, I am a runner and it was too hot to run. What I didn't tell my friend is that I had significant physical challenges throughout the day, and didn't have any business running last night anyway. But the tears were all influenced by things that really don't matter when all is said and done! Or do they? I mean I cried about them...

In having this conversation with my friend, I talked to her about how frustrating it has been for me to participate in on-line support groups for Multiple Sclerosis and I see language that I perceive as so negative. You see, I am not a victim, and I don't believe that I am sick or that my life is any worse or better than anyone else's life, but I do know that my attitude carries me through every moment!

The things that triggered this conversation were two statements that I have read in recent months:

1) I have seen several people with MS state they are sick. I also had one person say to me "I'm sorry you are sick." Saying that MS = Sick has really challenged my brain. I honestly don't view people who have MS as sick people. I certainly know that we have different levels of progression that challenge us, but for me to say I am sick is almost like saying an amputee or a person born with a physical impairment is sick. Just something to ponder. I will unlikely say I am sick unless I have the flu, or some cold, or a terminal illness.

2) Another thing that has really challenged my brain, is my ability to immediately blame things on MS. I have thankfully gotten away from this, unless I'm joking with my good friend about my memory (I have a mind of a steel trap is what she says), but I steer clear of blaming MS for my regular life. The sad reality is that I have been a 'victim' of loss and clumsiness since I came out of the womb. Perhaps there is a medical reason for this, but I didn't have a medical reason losing my keys and cell phone all the time since I began to drive and got a cell phone, until last year? Not likely!!! Unless something truly impacts the function that I am used to today, or even a year ago, suddenly, I simply need to accept it as me being me. There is however a very fine line of knowing when to get help when you have MS. For instance, when I lost my vision in my right eye last year? It was totally appropriate for seeking out help. When I fell off my bike because I didn't unclip my shoes from my bike pedals? I would call that pure accident.

Basically, my thoughts have been challenged, and I see some of this language and blaming as a barrier to my own recognition of my strengths, and I seek out positive outlets ALL over the place for my mental meandering with MS. Aside from one of my favorite bloggers, Dave, over at ActiveMSers, I have not found what I am looking for, and my friend challenged me to change that. Now, she didn't tell me to go and start a blog, but since I already blog, I figured it was a natural fit.

What do I plan to get out of this blog? I plan to express my positive opinions about MS and how it can/has been a blessing in people's lives. I'm going to talk about my journey and struggles. I believe, with every struggle, comes enormous life lessons that can positively impact a person's life. I want to share some of my less private stories (some things are left between me and the world, or the person I shared the time with), and share with people my journey, because although having MS has impacted and will continue to impact my life, the strength I have gained from this little diagnosis has been a gift.

What do I want you to get out of this blog? Well, whatever you want. I'm doing this for me, but my hope is people will find some positive energy as they are struggling with their diagnosis of MS. Oh, and my friends can laugh at my story telling a little more1

Come along for the ride. In the beginning I will commit to a post every other week, and see how that goes! Share your thoughts, your interests, your stories! In life we only have eachother to learn from...

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