I have spent a lot of time thinking over the past couple months. Trying to figure out where things went wrong, when did all of this start, how could I have gone so deep into a hole and nobody see it? Then I realized it didn't matter, what matters most is getting better. It is very frustrating to me that it doesn't change or can get fixed fast enough. At times I feel like I am in such a very deep, lonely, hole that only I can get myself out of. It is very hard having a Multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes so many symptoms that are invisible to others. That alone makes you feel very lonely and frustrated. Comments that are made all the time like "At least it's not Cancer", "You are just being lazy", "I know others with MS and they are just fine", "You never want to do anything". I think I could go on and on with the hurtful comments that we have to deal with daily. MS is a very hard and exhausting disease to fight everyday but our friends and family can make us feel as though we are fighting the world. Friends and Family start to disappear, in some ways it may be a relief but in others it only brings us down further and further into the hole.
As I mentioned earlier, I have spent a lot of time thinking the last few months. I have realized that I have to take responsibility for some of this too. How long can I expect people to wait for me to be able to and want to feel well enough to hang out. It is embarrassing to have them see us when we fall, dropping things, our memory and cognitive thinking impaired, not able to walk far before the pain becomes unbearable, etc.. Eventually people have to go on with their lives. The problem is that includes our spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Once I finally had to own up to my responsibility in this is when I realized how bad things really were and it was up to me to continue down this path or change what I could.
Don't get me wrong... I am still struggling with this, however, I realize that it is ME that determines how my day is going to be. I have put a few things in place over the last few weeks and so far it is helping. There is NO POINT SETTING GOALS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH OR TO MANY GOALS. THAT IS SETTING MYSELF UP FOR FAILURE.
~ When I wake up.. I try to think of good things. Not worrying about the "what if's". If I catch my mind wandering down the negative path, It is either time to get up and start my day or change my thinking again. While working on my "Good Thoughts/Positive Thoughts" I also do deep slow breaths through my nose. I have found this to be the best and quickest way to lessen stress, slow my brain down, slow the anxiety. I use this breathing technique all day long.
~ I make my bed as early as possible. Who doesn't love getting into a nicely made bed? It only takes a few minutes and Woo Hoo... I accomplished something for the day. I am finding that by having my bed made, it is keeping me from climbing back in bed and curling up under the blankets. Of course, If it is a really bad leg day or spasms and/or pain is unbearable, then I have a nice comfy cozy bed to get into.
~ Exercising/Stretching~ Wow, this is a big one. When you are in pain or having horrible spasms, it is so extremely hard to even think about exercise of any sort. Starting the beginning of January, I added stretching and yoga poses into my day. It is amazing how far I have come in just a little over a month with this. Here's the thing.... I am in pain almost every day without doing anything at all. Stretching and exercising actually gives me a few hours of numb muscles (NO PAIN). I have put on almost 30 pounds since I was dx. Some from the meds I have been on over the years and the IV steroids but also from not doing anything. I know that by losing weight it will help me feel better about myself. I have continued doing the exercises, yoga, and recently added cardio into my daily routines. Yes, I still have pain and spasms each day but I was going to have them anyways...
~ I have put into place a Rule... Do #1 thing for me each day! I don't have the money to go do expensive, fun things daily... For instance exercising is something. Painting my toenails or fingernails. Buy a box of color for my hair and cover those grays. Put make up on, take a nice warm Bath/Shower... The point being. I have had a hard time over the years caring what I really looked like. Nobody was going to see me, I wasn't going anywhere, I felt like hell and was just going to stay in bed, etc... Amazingly, how doing one thing to your appearance, changes your self esteem almost immediately. The difference is that I am doing this for me... Not for other people. Taking 5 minutes or a half hour to do something for myself makes a huge impact with my emotions. Trust me, it works.
~ I have eliminated, when I can, depressing or serious things. The shows I watch on tv have an extreme impact on my thoughts and mood, especially when I am struggling that day with anxiety or feeling down.. Seriously.. Try it!! For instance, the news has a few interesting things but the majority of the news is all the bad and evil in this world. If you have to watch the news, try skipping the first 10-13 minutes of it. Instead of watching Law and Order (My Favorite) and turn on a stupidly funny show on tv.. If you try this for 1 week. You will see the difference.
That's it folks. These are the very few things I have put into place Since the beginning of January and some have just been the last couple of weeks. I think this is enough and is hard enough to just work on these. I have seen really good improvements in my mood. As I continue working on these throughout February I will work on my next new goals. Facing my Fears of Leaving the house and being around people... Oh Boy!!! I can feel the anxiety kicking in just mentioning it. For now, I will worry about today only and continuing to work on the few goals I have set into place.