Friday, February 7, 2014

Courage to bloom

The past four years I have been under the impression that I was "managing" my
MS, when in truth I was trying to ignore it.  I pushed through, stiff upper
lip and all. I thought if I just plowed through life, running full steam
ahead that I would "beat" this disease.  I pushed it out of my mind, as best
I could, trying to prove that this could and would not change me or my life.
My parents always said I had to learn things the hard way...and "the light (finally)
dawns on Marblehead". 

Last summer, after getting some test results back my neurologist suggested
that I consider changing my course of drug therapy.  Over the past months since I have
been trying to decide if this is something I want to do.  A very smart person
in my life asked me a question I had never asked myself..."what is your plan
for managing your MS?"  At first I was honestly insulted...I got up every morning
and faced the day, I wasn't crying a pity party in my soup. I was forging ahead! 
I had a do what ever my neurologist told me to do...that's why I go to
a specialist,right?  I thought I had done pretty good considering the circumstances. 
I was doing the best I could...or was I?  I was then asked..."is that it?"  
I started thinking and I had to admit to myself that I really didn't have a plan. I was in denial.

According to the 5 stages of grief "Acceptance means that you've grasped the reality of your situation
and you're ready to incorporate that reality into your life. " Hmmm...I think in the
back of my mind acceptance meant that I was defeated.  I have really struggled with
this idea.  To be honest I am still struggling with it.  Ever fiber of my being has been telling me
that acknowledging this is wrestling with defeat and defeat is unacceptable.  But I had to admit
my plan wasn't really working anymore (if it ever did).  So I started to do what I do best, research.
There is so much information out there it is overwhelming and intimidating.  Where the hell do
I begin?  Since I now realize that relying solely on the medical community is no longer an option for me my new plan is to look for ways to attack this on all fronts.  It's a necessary turn in the road. 
I know it won't be easy but I am going to try to keep my mind open to all that is out there for me
to tap into.  I have to remember that this too is moving forward, the game plan has just shifted...but I am still IN the game. 

To that very smart person in my life...thank you.  Many times it's hard to see the forest
through the trees and it takes someone with courage to point that out.  Thank you for
challenging me to be the best person I can be and thank you for reminding me that it is
always worth the risk to bloom.

"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the
risk it took to bloom"  Anais Nin