I do not understand why it is considered more desirable to give up than to try harder. It is possible you will not succeed, but you only truly fail when you don’t try. I have given in on many fronts and now I wonder if I was premature. The doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists all told me it would be easier to give in and accept my situation. I would never work again, never walk, never again be a contributing member of society. They told me I needed 24hr care. After I cried and spent some time being REALLY depressed, and then I got cranky. I am one hell of a lot better since I stopped listening to THEM. I am not done fighting.
What is it that makes us who we are? What is it about one person that makes them pick up a gun and kill another? Others have had as rough a time as them but they don’t resort to violence. What is different about the person we regard as ‘saintly’ and another as ‘a schmuck’? I don’t believe there is a black and white answer but then that is what makes life so interesting, the not knowing.
Thousands perhaps millions have been spent on research to try and figure out the human quotient. WHY? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to change a light bulb so why do we insist we need an expert. Have a little faith in yourself and give it a try. You might throw some light on the situation. Each and every one of us is different from the other. Even identical twins are different in many ways. We are ourselves. Once we figure that out the rest is icing on the cake. We are all part of the same race: the human race. Many of us are also a part of the rat race. I must say some people are more a part of the rat part of that race than others but I digress. There is the foot race, the car race, the race to the end of the day, the race to get your groceries, the race. . . is a pattern developing? Take a little time, smell the roses, loiter a bit, you might like it.
Have you ever noticed that when a stranger is dealing with someone with a disability they tend to speak louder, or assume they are not too bright, or couldn’t care about a situation? Well I have. Not often thankfully, but more times than is reasonable. I have, on occasion, answered rather tersely that “I have a disability, I’m not stupid. Don’t treat me as if I am!!” That usually gets me a blank stare, rarely an apology.
People have to realize that I was a person before I was disabled. Ergo, I am a person with a disability, not a disabled person. Cars are disabled, electrical appliances are disabled, not people. And for the record I am not CHALLENGED. Everyone faces personal challenges. That is simply a phrase intended to make people without disabilities appear to sympathize instead of pity. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet . . .” Pity by any other name is still pity, and it ain’t pretty! I don’t need your pity I need you to treat me like a person. HELLO, I am a person! Stop looking at the wheelchair and heaving a quiet sigh of relief that our roles are not reversed. Accept me for who I am, not what disease I deal with. I want people to see me, not my wheelchair. I AM HERE!
Okay, enough of the sermon. I can get rather riled. Of course you may not have notice?????
Each individual must look deep within themselves and decide what they want to do. Okay winning a big lottery is not what I meant. But rather, do you want to live or do you want to have a life. The first is easy, just keep breathing. The second is much harder if your living circumstances are compromised. For example, you used to be a dancer, now you can’t walk. Modify your criteria. Write about dance, design dance studios, etc. It won’t be easy to find something that you love, can do, and get satisfaction from. Life is still worth living even if the playing field has changed. Change your approach or change the field to accommodate you. You have a lot of years invested in yourself, DO NOT GIVE UP, OR GIVE IN. Life is for the living and there is still a lot of living to be done!
I have two feline companions. Sometimes I look at my cats and I wonder if they are happy. Am I off in some strange tangent? Not really. Are you happy? My cats are fed, brushed, played with, cuddle, etc. But they don’t get to experience the great outdoors. Are they missing out on life or are they safe inside where they can live. I don’t know. I do know that I am not a cat. I need the interaction with those outside my apartment, the great outdoors. I need to be needed and I need to contribute in some way. My cats need a clean litter box. I need a life, preferably my own. Now I have to find a way to get what I need. My cats need me, but that is not enough. I need to be important, even if it is in only a small way. If my words, my tirade helps one person then I have contributed in a positive way. Is my work here done? Not by a long shot. I have years to go before I sleep and people to pester on my route. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
Here is a question for the Philosopher in you. Are we programmed to fail? Think about it. If a Doctor or someone in authority tells us we will fail does that presuppose that we will fail? How about the alternative? If a Doctor or someone in authority shows enough faith in us and encourages us to win, to overcome our difficulties, does that not then predispose us to succeed? The power of the mind is an exceptional thing. It is a machine (in simplest terms) that ‘programs’ our body and our behaviour. How then do we ‘reprogram’ this marvelous tool? I don’t know. But now that I have thought about it, I am going to find out.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to BELIEVE in oneself. Let’s face it, we can’t change the facts. We have MS (or any other really bad condition), that is self-evident. What isn’t self-evident is how we live with it. Yes certain realities will have to be met, the scooter, the canes, the wheelchair, etc., etc., etc. When you wake up in the morning, make a conscious decision to smile, to live that day to the utmost. Make the decision to LIVE not just exist. The truth of the matter is that death is easy, living is hard. And anything worth having is worth the effort. Anyone who
lives with a debilitating condition knows just what an effort that can be. So concentrate on the positive. Accentuate the positive. You get better parking. You have a youthful appearance. You have all your teeth/hair. You get the idea. It may take a little time to find the positive in your situation but it can be done, with, you guessed it, a little effort.