Finding myself

The past few days are still taking their toll on me as yesterday afternoon I slept for 4 hrs and I was in bed again by 10:30 last night. To be honest I will accept exhaustion any day before bad pain, at least when asleep I don’t feel anything, OK I know the argument that I don’t sleep as well because of the pain and that why I’m so tired, but I still don’t feel pain so who cares! I kind of like to see it as my body catching up on all the hours I lost when surrounded kids, (not just mine) and working jobs that expected 24hr work a day, whilst calling it just 8. It seems the older I get the more I realise that nearly everything in life is some sort of trade off and I often think that that is a lesson I wish I had been taught as a child along with cause and effect. I know, it’s OK, I’m not that stupid yet, I do realise they are lessons we all have to learn, but why does it take so many years to get there.

Having MS has changed my view and understanding on so many things, probably far more than I am even aware of, but there is no doubt that I as a person have changed. To my surprise where I thought that I might become rather grumpy and fast tempered I would say that it is really my softer side that has grown the most. Adam might want to sight some occasions that display how wrong that statement is at times, but that is just it, at times, I thought for a long time that I wouldn’t have been able to adjust, to be able to accept a life any less than perfect. I was always known by others, as someone who wouldn’t accept anything less in myself, my home had to be the best and cleanest it could be, anything I made, had to be just right, my work, beyond reproach and my appearance precise.

It is a slow process and we all take the journey eventually whether through illness or age, or both, the time comes when we find out who we really are. I’ve been stunned to find I am under all the fuss I used to live in, there is actually quite a simple, gentle and accepting person, which I now realise is a fabulous strength. That to some may sound odd when I am someone who fights and won’t give in but that is why I can fight, because I take the time now to accept what I can do nothing about and fighting what I can. I have worked out that everything doesn’t have to be perfect and that no matter how much I might want it and I can’t turn back time. I’ve learned that I have a manipulative streak but I have also learned that everyone else has as well. That I hold closer in my heart the people who have touched my life than I ever thought I did and that I do actually need people. That strength has nothing to do with muscle or bravado, it is a silent force that can’t be seen yet it can be felt. That somehow despite my life’s history, I still want to trust in human nature and kindness until it is proved not to be there and that love overpowers everything. That not everything I believed in was right and that total futility of holding grudges. The biggest shocker I had to accept and totally turned upside down a life time of learning, was that Doctors can’t cure everything, so get used to it.

If I was to give anyone that has a chronic illness a bit of advice it would simply be accept, get to know your enemy, embrace it and understand it, until you have take those simple steps, you can not judge and fight the battles you have a chance of winning, fighting everything is futile.