Sunday, January 26, 2014

As a bad day ends, wake up to a new tomorrow

We all have bad days.  This is especially true with chronic illness, like Multiple Sclerosis, as we encounter moments of pain, numbness, fatigue, spasticity and/or immobility. How on earth do we overcome these aching minutes, hours, days, months or, sometimes, all of our post-diagnosis lives?

I certainly don’t have the answer or a one-size-fits-all solution to offer up. But, I do believe there is something to remembering that with each breath is a new moment. That as a bad day ends, we will wake up to a new tomorrow, to a new day.

(c) C Germans Photography, 2011
Yeah, I wear rosy colored glasses. You caught me. I’m always drinking the proverbial glass-is-half-full.  This attitude, though, keeps me positive, remembering that bad days do not have to last forever. I was reminded of this while watching and listening to Shayne Koyczan (his video, "INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BAD DAY", is linked below). His spoken word in is truly a poetic reminder that bad days do come to close and that we can and should have hope for a better tomorrow.

I cannot pretend to know exactly what my fellow MSers go through on a regular basis - we’re all different. For me, feelings of loneliness and fear sometimes come up. This, plus enduring the physical symptoms of MS, can be difficult for me to manage. I am very hard on myself when I have bad days and I grow frustrated when my symptoms force me to rest or forgo something I was really looking forward to. I get pretty pissed off, angry to find that MS can limit my day(s). Yet, I try with all of my might to remember that the bad days don’t last forever. I try, try, try to wake up tomorrow morning with an open attitude, the chance to begin anew.

Does this make my symptoms disappear? Certainly no. But, trying to float up to a higher sense of optimism really helps. It’s so easy to fall into the despair that our symptoms can sometimes take us and I don’t want that for my life. I’ve got too much to do! So, while my symptoms may remain tomorrow, my attitude is certainly sprinkled with more positivity and shifts towards more hope for a better tomorrow.

"If you’re having a bad day…check your blind spot, love is still there" Shayne Koyczan, spoken word artist

And I don’t have to live through this alone, do I? Nor do you. Always remember that love and kindness are truly in your blind spot. Just remember to check it once in a while.  I say this because I sometimes have feelings of guilt when it seems like I am burdening my loved ones with my bad days. This makes me hold back, withdraw, and stop communicating about what I’m going through. During a recent and intense “bad moment” I checked over my shoulder and saw love, waiting for me. It’s been there all this time yet as I started wandering down that path of uncertainty and fear, I forgot and lost sight.

So, as I opened up, expressing my fears of a potential relapse (nope, not one, but still got scared) and what this could mean for the days and weeks ahead, I rediscovered how important love is during these moments. I was flooded with emotion and may have even released some tears (a rarity for me, I’m not a crier). A huge sense of relief came over me because I was reminded that I am not alone and found that the day-after-the-outburst was much, much better. I navigated the new day with a different, more positive perspective. A more hopeful one, no matter what showed up.

After all, I have to take the leap of faith that the next day will truly be better.

How about you? How, on your bad days, do you lift yourself up? Do you breathe in new moments or perhaps you’ve got another way to say goodbye to the bad day and hello to a new one. Would love to hear from you.

Best always, Christie

P.S. thank you Mr. Shayne Koyczan for giving me the opportunity to watch and listen to your words. You rock! 

P.P.S. listen to Shayne's words here: this-is-not-just-your-typical-pep-talk-or-instructional-video

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