Life Control Issues

I’ve been thinking lately about MS and control; specifically, the lack of it. The definition of this disease always incorporates the word “unpredictable” i.e. it’s symptoms are different for everyone.

When I was diagnosed ten years go, I spent many anxious weeks wondering what was going to happen to me next. I lived my life waiting for the other “shoe to drop” but in my subconscious I denied that anything more would happen.  Like the stages of grief, I moved into the anger phase: Why had this happened? What did I do wrong to deserve this? Bargaining came next: If only I could regain my life as I knew it, I would be a much better person and would volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or something.

When that didn’t fly, I became depressed. Not clinically where I took medication, but the “woe is me” kind. I couldn’t sustain that because I am naturally an optimistic person. And so, thirteen years from my first flare-up (the doctor wouldn’t confirm that I had MS until my second one three years later) I finally arrived at acceptance.

But that doesn’t mean I liked giving up control.  Eventually I realized I had a different kind of control. Now, there are choices I can make: I choose to try and be positive; I choose to eat healthier and exercise; I choose to only have positive-minded people around me as much as I can; I choose to stay with my prescribed MS medicine until a cure is found.

In other words, my new normal is controlling my lack of control.

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