By Andy Terhall
It's Halloween night and as I type this a friend of mine named Adam Holcroft is on the other side of the world just finishing up a 90km/55mile bike ride to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.
He's been doing this for the past 7 years and this is the second time since I've known him. Before he did the ride last year I wrote my first blog about living with MS so I thought it would be fitting to write another one this year.
The MS game is really no joke, sometimes it's like a game of hide and seek, I often refer to it as a psychological game of charades. Whenever I feel the slightest bit "off" or not feeling the greatest, I go into a guessing game of what could be the cause. Am I getting sick, did I not get enough sleep, or is this the MS creeping up giving my nervous system a pinch to remind me "I'm still here"? I never know, that's part of the game.
Nobody would know but the past week or so I haven't been feeling the greatest. That's another psychological game that's played. I don't like to tell people because I don't like making people worry about me. Tonight though, I had to say something. I woke up today feeling very weak, and having small tremors throughout my body, it almost feels like vibrations blasting through my body from the inside out. And it wreaks havoc on me mentally. I become easily frustrated and impatient, two of my least favorite emotions. The hardest part is when my kids are here and I notice myself being that way. That was the case today. As I reflect on the day, I can think of a handful of moments where I might of went of, or was short with my kids when I wouldn't have if I was feeling better. And it eats at me later on, like it is right now. I took my kids to my moms to go trick or treating, and the minute I stepped inside her house I found myself wanting to go home and lay down. I noticed her give me a look like she knew something was wrong with me which immediately made me want to leave even faster. My kids were so excited tho, and my son kept telling me he couldn't wait for us to go out and get candy. My daughter, well she's super smart and knows me better than I know myself sometimes. I'm pretty sure she knew something was up with me, she gets real affectionate, and kept hugging me and giving me a smile like, "it'll be okay Dad" which hurts too, cause she's right. Things will be okay, but my mind won't let me think that way as long as I keep trying to escape the pain and shitty feelings I am having.
Eventually I ended up leaving, and almost started crying on the car ride home. Why? it's only Halloween, and I'm not big on stupid consumerist holidays anyway, but It was more that I felt like I was hiding something and then suddenly springing it on people leaving them in wonder and worry. That's a hard thing for me to deal with. I knew my daughter would be worrying even tho she gave me a kiss and said go home and rest daddy. My son, well he didn't want me to go, and almost looked like he was gonna cry himself.
And that's what I'm sitting here trying to deal with right now. Deep down I know everyone will get over it and be okay, but it's the whole process of it all the fucks with me. They tell me to always let them know when I'm not feeling good, that that's what they're there for. But to me it's still projecting, because ultimately when someone tells another person that they're sick, or feeling shitty, they are deep down looking for some kind of compassion, whether it's the ego or your soul that's directing that play, it's still projecting to me. Maybe part of me really is looking for compassion but I don't need it to feel better, I already know I'm loved and that people care about me. I'd rather marinate in my own shit, instead of dragging others into the sewage that is my negative mind.
I'm not writing this with the intention of getting pity from others, I just wanted to lift the veil a little so people can get another peak inside this operating system that runs my flesh vehicle. There will be better days, I'm fully aware of that and am not rushing it. I know that if I stay positive and focus on mindfulness and staying present, I can overcome anything. And MS is just another small distraction.