Some are excellent at weaving experiences and events into sentences, paragraphs into stories.
Others prefer a more languid, Trumpian approach and enjoy a slightly different, 280-character style.
Fact is, we all have a story to tell. And what we do with that narrative can contribute to either drowning ourselves in negativity or to letting it empower us. In brief, what we create and tell ourselves, we become.
In 2018, my objective is to show up for my life. This may sound a little philosophical, but my wish is to keep my two new year’s resolutions alive and kicking until at least January 30th.
The first wish is to write more, the second is to take better care of myself. Each can be a nuisance as lack of energy and chronic pain can knock me senseless. Oftentimes both resolutions exist in mutual agreement while occasionally opposing each other greatly.
But, both are a sign that life with MS is fluid rather than fixed, and I am the only one who can give meaning to its role in my life. It gives me a new perspective, and a greater understanding of myself by encouraging me to grow, forgive and have empathy for others in similar situations.
This year will be my 13th diagnosis anniversary. It has been an ongoing, vibrant narrative of a lot of ups, and a few downs. It has tried to rob me of my life but it has similarly given me more peace, joy and resilience than I ever could have wished for. I am past its negativity as I learned that I did not cause having MS, and that I am therefore not a failure. Life with MS is nothing more than a natural part of my life. Turning it in anymore than that would be unfairly denigrating myself.
My story is therefore not one of heroism or tragedy, satire or drama, cheap thrills or grandeur. Showing up for myself in my own life means taking responsibility for the good and the bad while also trying to achieve the goals I set myself for 2018.
I hope that this year, you will continue to find yourselves in my words and perhaps even learn from the challenges I face.
While no two people with MS are exactly alike in disease course and response to treatment, we are all in this together.
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2018. 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.