Friday, September 20

Talking About MS

I know, my seemingly MS specific blog has been hijacked by posts of almost everything but MS. Fact is, I've been doing almost everything but MS related things lately. Of course, there are still the monthly visits for infusions, but really, when you think about it that leaves me with 27 days in between treatments where MS is pretty much at the back of my mind.

A few weeks ago I got a message and "connection" request on I signed up for this website when I was in college I'm assuming and after a quick look around I decided I'm not really into the whole group message board kind of thing. Truthfully, in theory I find the site to be a good idea, but after wandering around it's pretty quiet. Maybe I wasn't active enough in it, but I swear I could hear crickets chirping in any groups I related to.

I stuck to my blog, and basically this space became my outlet for all things MS. I attended some group get together designed for people in their 20-30's in the city my college was in, but I never really clicked with anyone. I wasn't all that surprised because I didn't seem to have much in common with people who were 10+ years my senior (I was the lone 20 year old) who had kids and families.

My MS has never been a popular discussion topic. Sure, people will ask me how everything is going and honestly I don't have too much to say about it. It's not a topic that Erik and I discuss too much either, because really, if all is going well, what is their to talk about?

Anyways, like I mentioned, a few weeks ago I received a connection request so I logged on and accepted. We exchanged emails and I figured I wouldn't mind chatting or answering any questions if I could be of any help. It was pretty clear that after a few emails, that I am really bad at being sympathetic. Maybe, this is not politically correct, but while I understand people need to vent in life, I also am the type of  person who usually want's to smack said venture after they have complained enough. Maybe, it's because I choose to live with a can-do attitude, rather than a woe-is-me type of one, but I realized that I am not suited to be a great coach. Of course, if you need a kick in your ass for motivation, maybe then I am your go-to person?

I also think that part of the problem is that it's pretty hard to give a complete stranger actual, usable advice. I have no idea what kind of mindset someone is in or really what their struggles are. I usually go by the motto, "suck it up buttercup" and I know that for me, I am physically capable at picking myself up and pushing on. If I tell some complete stranger than they too in fact should just "suck it up" I feel like it wouldn't go over so well.

We exchanged about 40 quick and short emails and by that time I was pretty sure he had enough of my positive attitude. Sure, I get it, when medicines fail or your body doesn't respond, it flat out sucks. However, you must continue to press on, never let a failure get in your way and just press on. I refuse to be depressed about things I can not change in life. I was dealt a deck of cards and it's up to me to decide how I want to play them. If I choose to sit at home and wallow I am simply missing out on time to play my deck. If you are waiting for the perfect moment to make your move, you are wasting your time.

I know enough to realize that some people need their time to wallow and process, but I'm convinced if you sit in the shadows for too long you will miss your chance at doing something amazing. Even if you have to start small, make a goal and work towards it. I remember when I was in the hospital, unable to walk on my own I would make small goals to get me through the day.

One of my first goals was to simply walk to the end of the neurology floor hallway without needing to rest. It couldn't have been more that 40 feet, but I would walk it with either the help of a nurse or my parents while someone would carry a chair behind me. Eventually I made it, but it was far from easy.

Two January's ago I was sitting on Erik's futon and I simply asked if he thought I could ride a century. I didn't even have a bike and Erik never said I couldn't. That July ago I completed my first century. I completed a second one this past July and another last Saturday.

Even though it doesn't always feel like we are in control of things that happen in life, there is always something you can control. Make a goal and go for it. What do you have to lose?

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