Sometimes in life all we ever want are the answers, I often find when I feel like that that the best thing to do is not look for the answer, but to look for a new question. I suppose the best example of that is the oldest one I know, don’t “Ask why me? Ask why not me?”, the first is impossible to answer, but the second is the answer. Like everyone when I was first diagnosed, I asked myself the first question a million times and I actually found a million different answers, I could find more reasons than I wanted to admit as to why it should be me, I was pulling myself to bits because there wasn’t a real answer other than I was being punished. The three years before my diagnosis had been probably the happiest of my life, I had for the first time found someone to love, who truly loved me back for me, not for what I could give them, or as a stop gap before moving on to someone who could give them more. It made no difference to Adam what I told him about my past and I found myself telling him more than I had told anyone, I didn’t feel I needed to keep secrets and when the last one had been laid bare, he still loved me. My past was filled with thing that I had learned to hide because of the reactions I had had from others, so I built up walls around them, never talking about them, even learning to lie about some, people who I had told in the past had walked away, because they just couldn’t handle it. But here I was with nothing to hide, everything laid out and nothing to feel ashamed of any longer, I had at last found a person who understood or at the very least tried to and our perfect world was being destroyed by my body. I felt as though I wasn’t allowed to be that happy and that my MS, was my punishment for even trying.
There is one good thing about having had a life filled with pain and things that most of us luckily never have to face, it makes you stronger, it teaches you to fight for your very survival and not to give up. So when I eventually asked the second question I found the answers far easier. Why not me? Well, I am a strong person, I have had the training and the experience to be able to handle this like everything else, I wasn’t going to be beaten by this any more than I had beaten by anything else. The first lead me nowhere, other than a reason to wallow in self-pity the second gave me the answers and the reason to move on.
A simple example that I am sure is one that most to some extent can relate to, as we have all found ourselves with some reason to ask that “Why me?” question at some point. One of the things that I have found about being ill and having time to think about everything that has ever happened or might ever happen is that in time the questions about yourself actually just get bigger not smaller. I suppose that if you have the time, you can look at yourself in ways you never thought of before and as a result, the questions can only keep growing. There is one huge disadvantage and that is of course that you can’t test out any theory that comes along as you can’t go out there or do anything about it. I know that I was never been exactly a cool calm and collected person when it comes to dealing with people who don’t learn as quickly as I do, or who don’t take instructions and carry them out without coming back to ask question after question, it didn’t really make me the best manager. Knowing my flaw now and believing that I have learned how to handle it better, is of no use now, although I think I would now be able to do a much better job, I have no opportunity to find out if I am right or wrong. That’s just one example, believe me, there is now a huge list of them, all the result of time to think.
There are some things though that never change, things that are written on our hearts or those engrained into our soles. It doesn’t matter how many times you twist the question, or what way, or side you look at it from the answers always remain the same. For some that means they are passionately against something or for something, they are the things in life that are as important to us as our lives and despite what we read, learn or see, our own personal opinion remains just as it was, not because we haven’t listened, but because we have and the argument didn’t stand up to our beliefs. Every few years there is an attempt to change the law in this country with regard to assisted suicide, whenever the discussion begins there is a lot of debate on TV which no matter how many times I hear it, I still believe that the law should be changed and that we should have the right to decide for ourselves just when our lives have reached a point when we don’t want to go on. Don’t worry, I don’t want to die today or even tomorrow, but the longer I live with this monster, the more passionate that I believe we are the ones who should have the power to say when enough is enough. As thing stands today, I will have to end my life long before I would want to, as I have to be in total control and able to take whatever drug it is without any help of any sort. There are so many things that could go wrong with that plan and so many variables that the chance of the desired outcome is actually slim, it is more likely that I would only make myself worse. If anyone helped me, they would be in danger of being charged with murder, I just couldn’t put anyone in that position. They keep saying that the law stands as they don’t want to put the vulnerable in danger when in fact they are missing the point, as the law stands right now, that is exactly what the law is doing.
I know now that I have as I have with many other things, missed the opportunity to do anything about the law and what it says. It is impossible for me to change it, just as it is for all those people we see on the news, fighting the system for their desired right to die. I know now that I should have stood up for what I believed in long ago, I have believed this for as long as I can remember and what did I do, nothing! Why did I do nothing, because I was too busy doing all the things that I thought were important at the time and I believed that I had more than enough time in the future to stand up for what I believed. I didn’t take the time back then to ask all the questions that I should have, if I had I might just have asked… What if I become ill? What if I don’t have the health to make all those speeches, to attend all those meetings? What if someone else doesn’t do it for me? What if I leave it too late?
All of us have that one thing we believe in passionately, most of us are too busy living our lives, just getting on with things, always believing others will do it for us, well maybe it’s time we all start asking more questions and stop sitting waiting for other to do it and started to do it for ourselves, while we can. So ask yourself a question now, follow it with another and another them do something about it before it is too late.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today 30/04/12 – Sunlight from below
I saw something yesterday evening that I don’t remember ever seeing before in my life, I was transfixed by it but it lasted less than a minute and unlike the new generation I didn’t have a camera stuck to my hand. I was watching ‘Antiques Roadshow’ when in the corner of my eye I saw a light, it was more of a glow than a light and it was so bizarre that it was transfixing. Living in a flat the view from my window is really that of the flats across the road, with gaps filled with greenery, then more houses. Nothing that isn’t on almost every street in every city throughout the world, so seeing what looked like was the guttering of the flat opposite flood lite from below, was odd. I had to stand up and go to the window to investigate. There were no floodlights? Every house and every…..