With this statement I came home from my weekly shopping, having browsed through the sales in an already low-cost shop. Makes you feel good knowing you didn’t break the bank doing so. Right now, though, that is not what is on my. I also came home with a whole bag full of medication to help me out over the next 4 weeks because my body always has its own mind and it needs to be fed its chemicals 4 times a day.
Not so much rock chick now, huh?
Pink sings in “So What?” that she’s just lost her husband and that she will not pay his rent. I can live with that, I am single so I don’t need to pay anyone’s rent but mine. Pink also sings that she’s got a brand new attitude and that she’ll wear it tonight. I can DEFINITELY live by those words, in fact, I swear by those words most of the day. Yeah baby, I am OK and I got my rock moves if my body allows me to, but no matter which way I feel, in my mind I like to think that I am a rock star. In my mind, I am a fit girl ready to go out, to have fun and to enjoy life as it comes. Not every day though…
It’s easy enough trying to avoid social contact, hell we got Facebook, Twitter, MSN and whatnot to keep us connected. But you really do need that almost physical contact by going out and meeting people, otherwise you shrivel up like a dry flower and wither before time has been able to decide whether you were a keeper or not. For that reason I drag myself outside… Chronic pains included. I laugh… Severe fatigue included. I talk to friends, family & ex-colleagues… And show them I am strong. And yes, I’m having fun… Because ill people really are allowed to have fun, even when they’re having so much physical hurt going on.
And that’s why I jump up and down in my bedroom, or the living room, or the kitchen and sing with Pink about being a rock star (and ending up with yet another foot injury!). I don’t care what anyone thinks. My body isn’t always there to make me enjoy the things I used to do; it lets me fall, sometimes literally. I still have rock moves, the same ones I had when I was 14 and didn’t have a care in the world. Sure, Multiple Sclerosis does affect your balance, so what? MS gives you headaches, so what? MS does cramp your social living a bit… So what? There are worse things in life, right?
Now please don’t think I am Super Woman. I am not. Just like everyone else, healthy or not, I have days where I just want to crawl under the duvet and hide from the world because I don’t have the energy to be that rock chick, physically anyway. I often wonder if people can see through that veil of chronic pain I’m trying to hide. Am I lying to people when I say that I’m alright when really I want to just go back to bed to try and sleep of that fatigue? Will they think less of me when I do that and will they think that I am giving in to my illness or will they understand? Thankfully, I have a lot of fantastic friends, and a family who accepts and understands everything. To and from them I can lift that veil, not all the time, but it happens. They know I am that rock chick who wants to have fun and enjoy life… Come what may.
Besides the physical issues going on with an illness like MS, you also have the mental ones going on. The questions, the doubts and the hopes and aspirations you often have to change to accommodate your illness. I make daily decisions on my life knowing that tomorrow I may need to reverse those decisions. Living in a constant mood of decision making so, but it’s not doing my head in, not anymore. Accept what cannot be changed is a good way to start your day when you’re living with MS. That way you’ve already climbed up the ladder of happiness at 8am and you’re almost at the top of it before you’ve been able to have your second cup of coffee.
And for now, for today, tomorrow and the next few days, I will be alright because I will show you I am alright. And I won’t want MS this weekend, but then again… So what?
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.