If you had met me just before I started this blog, you would probably never pick up the phone to me again or at the very least, you would raise an eyebrow at me pouring yet another glass of wine, sniveling and whining, ‘S’not fair, s’not fair, my life is over. Over, I tell you.’
I read an article recently about the difference between self-pity and self-care with grim recognition. When the whole MS saga began, I sought endless validation for all my negative, soul-destroying emotions, handing over responsibility for my pain to anyone who was willing to take it on. I was having a continuous pity party and everyone was invited.
Sympathy confirmed just how awful my situation was and I was free to carry on regardless. I spent long evenings trapped in dark thoughts, envisioning a bleak future, if I had a future at all.
What changed? I was hurtling downwards to the point of no return. I was alienating those closest to me. My situation might never change, but I could. I was utterly fed up and frightened of being a helpless victim of fate and decided to take back the reins of my life.
The friends who stuck by me through that period are the ones who poked fun at me – it was what I needed. The intention was never to undermine the seriousness of MS, just putting it into perspective. The symptoms weren’t going anywhere, so let’s have a bit of a laugh about it. The dodgy hands, the wonky feet, the complete inability to remember simple words.
I wanted to turn the whole thing on its head. Yes, MS is awful. Yes, it’s serious. And if you want to, you can live your life that way. Sure, I still have moments (days) of utter terror but I wanted to be in control of them so I started this blog to work out my feelings, to show there has to be a lighter side to MS, bizarre though that may seem.
So just like the Cyberman in my picture, the most terrifying things can be funny and no matter how dark the shadows, the light that shines nearby is even stronger.
Hi! It’s awfully easy to wallow in self-pity and negative thoughts, and there seems to be no shortage of people who will validate those feelings (with the best of intentions, I’m sure). But you’re so right about seeking the light instead of the shadows. Reminds me of a song by the Indigo Girls with this lyric:
Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable,
and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.
Love those lyrics, very apt. And yes, people really did have the best intentions, but I quickly bored them all to tears, lol. And I could either have accepted that my as I knew it life was over, or pick myself up and carry on, just in a different way.
The Cyberman in the picture is The Teenager’s old biscuit tin…
So glad you chose the laughter and light, although for sure there are times when it’s mighty dark.
I often wonder where you get your great photos. Can’t believe that’s an old biscuit (cookie?) tin!
They sure are,and sometimes they come right out of the blue. Meh.
Yup, it’s his old cookie jar! It now lives on a shelf in my kitchen and I thought I would cheer him up by putting a Krispy Kreme hat on him. Looks much less scary, especially first thing in the morning, lol.
I agree with you I have stuck with the friends who have given me the most abuse. The number of friends who have asked to be my carer at concerts and football matches, saying if they can wheel me in we can get down the front. When I point out I’m not in a wheelchair they say I’m selfish.I want to be treated and spoken to the way we always did, MS shouldn’t make any difference to how we are with each other. But if I meet old friends or colleagues if they have that “Oh what a pity look” its a quick hello goodbye. But a smile and friendly banter then its are we off for a drink.Keep smiling mate x
Couldn’t agree with you more, Tony. I hate being handled with kid gloves. I’m the same person really and I would much prefer the typical old joshing than all the sad eyes and well-meaning questions. Might sound harsh, but if you can’t look on the bright side, what can you do?? When I want sympathy, I’ll ask for it, lol.
I’m smiling – the sun is shining and I’ve just finished work til next Thursday – yay!
More importantly – what is your favourite Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Hi Dan! All of them, lol. Sadly for my waistline, I am a frequent visitor!