I’m in a mood. I get in a mood whenever my MS takes a little bit more of me away.
When I’m IN that mood, the following things make me furious:
Statements like, on the Shift.ms website: “MS doesn’t mean giving up on your ambitions, just rethinking how to achieve them.” HA!
Statements like: “My XXX has had MS for years and she still walks five miles a day. Healthy living, you know.” GRR!
Statements like: “Oh, you don’t have spasms like XXX has. His are really bad.” OH REALLY???
Or anything that either suggests I can’t possibly do something, or, alternatively, that of course I can do something. Or people telling me I have it good, or people feeling sorry for me.
It’s an angry, crotchety place, my current locale, surrounded by thorns. Can’t move in any direction without being offended or put out or frustrated or angry. I’ve been in it for a few months now and I don’t like myself in this spot. I much prefer to be the cheerful, “Well, tomorrow is another day” kind of gal. The one who copes well all the time, the one who LIVES her life instead of dragging from one day to the other.
The one who doesn’t feel like ripping the throat out of anyone who says anything about MS or life or feeling or anything. Mine or their own.
My excellent counsellor tells me I am grieving. That I need to allow myself to grieve to let things go. Well, I don’t know how to grieve. I’ve never learned. I can fake it, yes I can, I can look moodily out into the middle distance, etc, etc, but grieve? Nope. Not in my makeup, not anymore. Too much has gone by ungrieved I have a bloody ice jam in there and the surroundings will likely be flooded if I chip away at things. So it just piles up in huge lumpy blocks of coldness…
So much hurt, so much loss, so many things I’ve tucked away into their own personal hurt lockers and slammed the door. Everything from when I gave out Valentine’s Cards in grade eight and the boys who received them put them on the floor and stomped on them, to when my brother called to tell me my dad had died and I was just pulling the turkey out of the oven for a dinner with friends and I sat there and made polite conversation like I didn’t care. From being a married mother of three to being a divorced mother of distant children. From living with the loss of my job and identity through MS through constant struggles to find meaning in the new life I deal with every day.
But then I give my head a shake. First world problems, I tell myself. You have enough money to have a comfy home, good food, can go out and have fun occasionally, you have friends who put up with you and the occasional more-than-friend who holds you close. Your cat loves you. So what if every action requires days of recovery? No one is bombing you or starving you (alas) or hurting you. You have nothing to complain about.
And truly, I don’t. I am grateful for so much, it seems churlish to complain.
So I’ll just try this grieving thing and hope I can undo the ice jam, just a bit. Time to think about my blessings. Time to do some “aggressive self-care”, as my lovely cousin puts it. Beware of flooding. And maybe take a page out of Roald Dahl’s theory of life and try to think happy again. If only to look lovely…