God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Well, I have been “off-line” for a few weeks, you may have noticed. Why? A bunch of things…but suffice it to say the bottom line was because of an MS back-handed WHAMMY!
In recent weeks I have been trying somewhat unsuccessfully to juggle my health management needs, family needs, and work-related needs. As is my wont, I pushed myself much to hard to meet a deadline at work for a high-profile opportunity (which was successful, by the way). At the same time I was dealing with a teenager’s confused and volatile life-searching angst which had direct repercussions on how I manage my household, and dealing with a new “complication” related to my MS. All this combined to bring me down to a state of total disengagement and “cocooning”. I was bone tired. I was at a level of raw emotional pain that literally had me keening in the fetal position in my shower almost daily. Basically – I needed to check out for a bit – from work, from tech, from everything…and simply rest. Rest, rest, rest.
Have I ever mentioned that it is hard for me to “slow down” and actually rest, despite a chronic illness that requires it?
With all the stuff going on, my self-identity took a direct hit, leaving me wondering what my life would be like without MS & seizures. Would major decisions have been different had I never had that seizure that forced my car accident all those years ago? Would my family have been better cared for if I had died in the accident? Did I do enough for them despite my MS? What is my life purpose? Why can’t I stop crying? Who am I? I felt angry as hell at my health situation – angry that maybe it was a main reason behind the teenage angst I was seeing.
What was all this? Grief.
You see, grief that is associated with living with a chronic illness can back-hand you at the most surprising times, and in any of its various stages. The past month I was feeling deep grief and anger and depression – triggered by a decision made by a family member. That in turn made me more ill with a flare of MS symptoms and more despondent, especially since I was already at a low ebb due to giving everything I had to teaching a professional workshop.
I am crawling out from under my rock now. But these past few weeks have served as a strong reminder to me that the grief of living with a chronic illness such as MS sometimes lies much closer to the surface than I am willing to admit.
But it also shows me that there is always a light shining somewhere when that rock is moved away.
“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” ~ Sai Baba
Be gentle with yourself. Namaste.
- Does Chronic Illness Mess With Your Emotions? (ohmyachesandpains.info)
- Chronic Illness and Identity (brainlesionandme.wordpress.com)
- Managing the stress of chronic illness (yourmindyourbody.org)
- Stop Whining, Mom: A Child’s Take on Chronic Illness (stephanyspeck.wordpress.com)
- Who’s Hiding The Blueprint On How To Live Life After Chronic Illness Sets In? (abledis.com)
- When the Going Gets Tough for the Chronically Ill (ohmyachesandpains.info)
- MS: a social disconnect (willeke73.wordpress.com)