My Own Kilimanjaro

KilimanjaroI’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 …

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10 thoughts on “My Own Kilimanjaro

  1. Tricia says:

    The words that yet again, how I feel. Xxy

  2. Donna Taylor says:

    Another great post. I cannot wait to read your book 🙂 xx

  3. Peter says:

    Do not get yourself down. When a person with MS climbs a mountain, or bungee jumps, or achieves an incredible feat. they do that carrying everyone on their shoulders who live with MS. You are part of that feat. Living with MS and last May having quad heart bypass, this September I will be tackling the Tuff Mudder obstacle course. An obstacle course built for the military, I will run, climb, jump and swim through muddy water carrying everyone living with MS in my heart. When I finish the course, you will also finish the course. The only difference, I will be covered in Mud and you will be nice and clean. When a MS member succeed we all succeed!!!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      What a beautiful comment! And an amazing way of viewing things.
      Very much looking forward to hearing how your Tuff Mudder goes!

  4. stargzrblog says:

    Wow, love this! I hope that you summit all of the soaring mountains in your life!

  5. rachmonkey says:

    from bad, there can be good. Strange but true. Perhaps not that strange.. Wonderfully written as always. x

    I am doing a small Killimanjaro (is that an oxymoron?). Posting 100 pics over 100 days showing what is is really like to live following the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis lifestyle approach. You can see what its like on my Instagram account: myomslife (*emabarrased at shamless plug but need public pressure so I don’t give up*

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