We are all given hurdles in life. But watching traumatic events happen to others is almost like watching a movie. You can see it, you're watching it but you know its a movie and when it's over you go right back to your normal life.
Same thing with thinking that you are impervious to disaster, to heartbreak, to destruction, to illness. You never think it will happen to you until it does and then you are left with the question marks of life. Why me? Why did this happen? Why did I lose that job? Why did we lose our home? Why does a 4 year old child get incurable cancer? We will never know the why to any of this until our story starts to unfold more. I feel like one day in the end of our lives it will all make sense.
Like a flash of fruition where all our question marks turn into exclamation points and it all makes sense to us. Every move we ever made, every step we took, every person we met, every job we turned down or accepted all had a reason, a purpose. However until that grandiose moment we have to just roll with the punches and take what life throws at us. Are you going to curl up in a ball and cry if life starts chucking lemons at you? No! You go get yourself a big net, catch as many lemons as you can and start squeezing those bad boys into the best dang lemonade you've ever tasted in your life.
When I was told I 100% without a doubt, nobody messed up, had MS it was yes a shock. This was my ms diagnosis. My multiple sclerosis diagnosis! Wow! I was scared, I cried, I ugly cried, like contorted my face until it didn't look human anymore ugly cried. I still cry at times. For no reason. Just to process it and because i'm one emotional woman. Scorpio. We wear our emotions like we wear our heels. Loud and proud. However it was in a split second I changed my thinking.
I can play the victim and go along with this new life and have everyone feel sorry for me or I can take this new life by the horns and ride it all the way home. Which do you think I went with? The one with the better ending of course. Nobody likes a victim but everyone loves the hero. And that's all we are as men and women living with MS. We are heros. We don't visually show our pain. You can not see 90% of the pain that goes on in our bodies. We aren't clearly missing a limb or have slash marks bleeding all over our bodies and needles stabbing us everywhere. From the outside it looks like nothing is wrong.
Imagine you just worked an 8-9 hour day, then took care of children, then got dressed and went out and partied for the night and danced for hours in a loud concert and then got 2 hours of sleep and went back to work the next day and did it all over again. You would be tired right? This is how people living with MS typically feel on a daily basis. We are exhausted and we have no reason why other than the fact that this is how we know it makes us feel. Yes we got a full nights rest and we still don't feel 100%. However yes of course there are things that can help with fatigue. Diet, exercise but everyone is going to have an off day every now and again.
So how do I cope you ask? I know and trust that God has a plan for me. He did not make me weak. At 30 years old I have gone through what most people would never have the misfortune of experiencing in their life. And hey, I'm still here and smiling and happy.
At 18 I moved to NYC by myself to pursue my music and acting career. I was mugged three times, followed home twice. At 19 I drank heavily in New York and started making bad decisions with boys and was not acting much like a lady if you know what I mean. At 20 I went on an audition and was sexually harassed by the director who claimed he needed to "make sure I could kiss right on stage" for the role. Somehow his hands ended up down my shirt and up my skirt. At 21 I was in one after the other of terrible relationships. At 22 I found out that my very first real boyfriend from high school had murdered 2 people back in California; 1 of which was a friend of mine from highschool. He also took my virginity when I was 16. Even though I had not spoken to him in years to find this out would bring anyone to their knees. At 23 I started to focus more on my music and writing more. I ended up at a party and was drugged and raped and the guy got away with it because they claimed i willingly took the drug and drank more to enhance it. I didn't know anything about drugs. How could I condone something I knew nothing about? At 24 I met my first husband who turned out to be an addict and narcissistic abuser. At 26 I escaped the marriage and divorced him. At 28 I met my husband John and I know he was an angel sent from God.
I am not sharing all of this because I am trying to compete with anyone. My list is not bigger than anyone elses. The point I am trying to make it yes we all go through hardships but I am living proof that you can go through ANY situation and make good of it and come out alive in the end. It's all about how we choose to move forward after a flood. We can stay trapped on the roof of the house as the water rises or we get into a boat and sail off in search of dry land.
GET IN THE BOAT AND SAIL OFF ALREADY! LET GO OF THE HOUSE! IT'S SINKING AND THE WATER IS RISING AND YOU WILL DROWN. SO STRAP ON A LIFE VEST BECAUSE WE ALL NEED ONE AND FIND THAT DRY LAND. IT MAY TURN OUT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS KNOWN TO MAN.
So yes I walk a little funny now and it makes me unique and that's a good thing. I use a cane when my left leg gets too weak and over worked. I don't know about you but if Mr. Peanut can make a cane look good and be famous for his image so can this chick. (Fun Fact- One of my favorite tattoos is a dancing banana with a top hat and cane on my leg) See the irony? I got this tattoo about 10 years ago by the way. I have handicapped parking. Um...VIP for life? Yes Ill take it! I have to do infusions every 6 months for 6-7 hours at a time. Umm...plenty of time to blog and share my story and hear others stories. Perfect time to connect with others around the world who are going through the exact same thing. I eat healthier now because of my diagnosis. Mac and cheese by Kraft should not be consumed by a grown woman. Although man I miss that stuff sometimes.
So here are my upsides
More fashionable with cane
New accessories to play with (cane)
6-7 straight hours of ME time every 6 months
Connecting with thousands of people world wide about MS
Writing motivational music
Performing motivation music
Blogging and journaling my journey (which I've never done in my life)
Educating myself on something new- being MS
Pushing myself harder everyday
Moving people with my music
Bringing a positive outlook and laughter to this disease
Being more aware of germs and staying away from sick people
I have to sit down to put on my underpants
Sometimes I trip
I drop things
I get sharp pains in my left side
my multiple sclerosis COULD worsen and progress
Which list is bigger? See? It's all about what you make of it. You can look at the negative or you can look and revel in the positive. Look, you WILL 100% have a bad a day. You may have a bad WEEK, or MONTH even. That's OK. I feel fantastic right now and may ugly cry like a hobbit later this evening. We don't know. But...when you are done having a bad day, week or month, get on the boat and seek dry land. Find that island because once you find it its magical. It's beautiful and there's cute island animals running around. Who wouldn't love that?
Life is a gift and it's all about using it wisely. Don't throw it away. There's a bigger picture here...and it starts with us. One day a time. We are stronger together as we continue to fight against MS.