I’ve been a wee bit down recently – thinking about all those peeps with MS I read about who’ve done remarkably astounding things, such as climb Kilimanjaro or walk the Great Wall of China.
Or abseil, sky-dive, bungee-jump, fire-walk.
All this adrenalin was making me feel somewhat inadequate. I want to do these things, I guess I’m just a coward.
But over lunch in work today (blueberries, strawberries, chicken and egg muffins – s’Paleo), I realised something. Apart from the fact that the boss was chomping loudly on a Gregg’s pasty right next to me, followed by a chocolate sponge cake and clearly enjoying every minute of it.
We all have a personal Kilimanjaro. MS shoves us out our comfort zone and all of us, I bet, have done things we never thought we’d do before diagnosis. Not just the big, spectacular things, but the small things that ultimately add up to life-changing experiences.
In my case, I learned to relax about housework. I began to take each day as it comes (not as easy as it sounds). I started to truly see life for how wonderful it is, despite everything. It’s as close to a near-death experience as I’m going to get (for the second time – long story).
With MS (and any other serious illness) , I think we get the chance to rewrite our life-plan, some parts of our own choosing, some we are compelled to take on board. We are forced to adapt to limitations and prejudice, yet we are also presented with the opportunity to try things we’ve always wanted to do but never taken further than idle daydreams. What do we have to lose when we’ve lost so much already? We can only gain by not just allowing MS to shove us out our comfort zone, but by taking ourselves out of it too.
My bigger Kilimanjaro is writing. I’ve written all my life and promised myself that one day, some day, at a vague, distant point in the future, I would do something about it. Perhaps. Well, thanks to an overflow of MS emotions, helped along by a huge dollop of anger at being bullied at work for having the cheek to have MS, I started my blog. And a couple of years later I thought, hey, maybe I can write? So I started an MA in Creative Writing. And then I thought, maybe I could turn my blog into a book. So I am.
If MS is in your life, pinpoint your own personal Kilimanjaro. It probably won’t be too far from something you always wanted to do …