I deleted my Facebook account yesterday, I had been thinking about it now for a few months as it was taking up a disproportionate amount of time, to the number of people who were actually visiting the page daily. Everything has been slowly taking up more and more of my time, which really is more proof of the progress of my MS in the past couple of years, what used to be just a morning task with the rest of the day spent playing games and sleeping, has turned into something that takes every minute I have right through to 6:30 every evening and I knew something had to go. I did think about just stopping it and leaving it alone, but I know myself too well, if it was still there I would have still been logging in and just checking this or that, there was only one true answer and that meant deleting my account, so it is now gone! I guess the next few days will really show me just how much time it was eating up, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it is as much as a couple of hours. I need to concentrate on the two things that mean the most and get the most attention for spreading the facts of life once chronically ill, the reason behind all of it and they are clearly this blog and Twitter.
I think it was yesterday’s post that led me to action, I put a lot of thought into it and I was careful to pull it from inside, not just what swirled around in my head. I have noticed that in the last couple of weeks that every post has brought tears to my eyes at some point because they are painful to admit, handle and write about. They also are so close to the bone that tears are uncontrollable and true signs that even I don’t want to deal with sections of them. I haven’t read them all back yet, I haven’t done it on purpose as it’s too soon, too soon to be able to read them to be able to say this is me now, face up to it. I know to most people reading what you will see are the views, opinions and the facts, with some emotion behind all of them, but what I see is the emotion first as none of the things I write could ever be written without them.
Chronic illness is a highly emotional thing to live with, how you emotionally handle it, is probably just as important as all the drugs, the support and all the facts you can possibly ever learn. There isn’t any part of any illness that isn’t emotional, every pain, every spasm and every sensation, all bring with them an emotional reaction, the first and most important is either that of knowing you can cope with it or not. Trust me, not coping with pain is highly emotional. You may think that that reaction you had as child when you fell and grazed your knee and the tears flowed, has gone, it hasn’t. It doesn’t leave you, it just happens at a higher level of pain, if it wasn’t for the constant input of morphine, well let’s say the tissue box would empty quite quickly. Even when the pain is making you angry, which it does quite often, anger also often turns into tears, just as frustration does. Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t all be blubbering wrecks if it wasn’t for the pain relief, but thier appearance would be far higher, even if it was simply because pain wears you down. On the flip side, some things that illness does to us can make us laugh, or smile or any of the other emotions there are, but whatever emotion it is, chronic illness always seems to take it and heighten it.
Once I had my diagnosis I can honestly say that I haven’t suffered from depression, but I know that it is something many may do. I clearly remember when no one believed me there was anything wrong when I had a flare, how totally awful I felt and how devastating the whole situation was for me, I was once even committed into a psychiatric hospital for several weeks, after trying to kill myself. I never really thought of myself as a highly emotional person, other than when I was dealing with what I now know were flares, outside of that, well I have always been the level headed one in most situations. I have always felt I through most of my adult life that I didn’t react the way others do to most things, from humour to death, my reactions were always different somehow. I now know that one of the parts of my brain that has lesions on it is the centre where emotion are produced. It explained a lot as I had noticed that in a period of about 5 years before I was diagnosed, that I had started to cry at almost anything where I felt pressured, not good when in a business meeting. Add that into the roller-coaster of chronic illness and I have turned into an emotional wreck, who now cries at the TV, something I had never done until recently.
Diagnosis in itself is emotional but once that passed, I have remained free of depression, in fact, I have remained incredibly happy despite everything that has happened. I now understand what are the emotions caused by my illness, be it my brain damage or reaction to pain, and what is the real me. Yes, there are days when I am worn down by it and there are times when the pain is just too much for me, but there is always one fact that I am human and humans are emotional creatures. No one no matter how strong that person is can get through chronic illness without being affected by the emotional side of it. I know my future, but I also know that I can’t change it and there is no point in just sitting here looking ahead and worrying about it, my body and brain are out of my control and what happens when will happen regardless of my emotions. Personally, I made a decision to remain as happy with life as I could, dealing only with what is happening at the time and that is enough emotion for anyone to deal with, believe me.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 07/05/12 – Independent thinking
Some of you may have noticed I don’t fill my posts with links to other blogs of even to medical sites, I do this on purpose and it has a simple reason behind it, I no longer read other blogs that are about MS. That may surprise some of you but I have done it on purpose, it was a conscious decision as it is all too easy to allow others individual impressions affect your own. I wanted and have tried hard to maintain this blog as my journey, (I hate that word but it is so hard to avoid) and the discoveries and problems I encounter. When I was first diagnosed I read everything and anything that I could find and on occasion found a person who I connected with and who was writing what I felt, but with all of them there were things I couldn’t agree with, just as there will be in here for many of you who follow my daily ramblings. I equally found medical sites……