When I was asked to write ten positive things about multiple sclerosis I thought, I am a positive person this should be a piece of cake. Then I thought what the hell have I gotten myself into? What is positive about MS, a disease that has me at its mercy, a disease that on any given day could cost me the use of my arms, legs or whatever body part or function it sees fit to interfere with or take?
Next I said to myself, “Lets go for a walk and think of all the things you were before MS” and that’s when it came to me. All the positive changes I made in my life when I found out I had MS, some of the positives were no brainers and came right away, some just slowly happened, and some me, myself and I still struggle with. Every day I get a little bit better and a little bit stronger.
My friends: these are my ten things that are positive about multiple sclerosis.
1. I eat better! I am far more mindful about what I put into my body and what I feed my family. I try to make sure I am eating healthy and organic, getting all available nutrients and vitamins and all the other good stuff straight from the source. I avoid processed food when possible.
3. I am stronger mentally and physically! I play lumosity daily. I get enough hours of sleep for me, I listen to my body, I believe being overall healthier mentally and physically helps you bounce back quicker from setbacks and flare-ups.
4. I say “no” more! I focus on what’s important to me and my family. Before MS I was a serious multi-tasker and nothing or no one could stop me, now I plan my days by what is important and I listen to my body.
5. I appreciate things more! I take time to smell the roses, don’t laugh I really do, because I now realize it is the little things that matter the most.
6. I stress less! Stress is a huge trigger for a lot of MS’ers; before I freak out and lose my mind I ask myself “Will this matter five years from now? Five days from now? Or five minutes from now?” The answer is almost always no.
7. I have balance! I have learned to its ok to be selfish, I have always loved the saying, “You cannot keep taking from the well, without putting anything back.” I see this as how can I, be a good wife, mother or friend if I do not take care of my self first?
8. I have spontaneity! I still have schedules and responsibilities that I honor, but if I am having days that I feel awesome with extra energy I will throw caution to the wind and I go with the flow now. I do what I can while I can still do it.
9. I am mindful! I will never be in this time or space again so I now give each moment in my life my full attention no matter what I am doing or whom I am with, some days are harder than others but I try.
10. I am always grateful! I have learned to accept and appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly of MS and of life in general and I am truly grateful because no matter how bad things get, I remember they could always be worse.
Have you found anything positive about living with multiple sclerosis?
Sam Dickson-Draganac is a wife, mother, friend and stand-up comedian in her past life. She is painfully addicted to quotes, photography and all things positive. The MS warrior is just trying to do her best by living one day at a time and staying in the moment with her boys,camera and fur babies.
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