What’s next is a scary question. It’s more terrifying when the decision isn’t totally yours. I feel like I need a plan, and something to get excited about, other than my plans for next weekend, my next vacation, or an upcoming date.
I want something big. I want something that most would consider reckless. I want to do something that I never thought I would do.
Before I get to the ideas, and before I even think about it, it’s time for me to fully accept my diagnoses, fully accept who I am as a person, and fully accept that I need to change who I am internally.
I’ve had multiple people that love me and care about me tell me that if I was as nice to myself as I am to others, I would be amazing and a whole different person. I’ve had multiple girls seem to really like being around me, but be scared about being with me for a long time. I’ve had multiple friends, look at me with a look in their eye that I was never used to seeing, probably because I was always looking for them to look down on me, and never notice — Worry.
It’s all justified. I’ve tried to be healthy in a way that isn’t really trying at all. I’ve done minor things to better myself, and continued with major things that are just hurting me. I act like small concessions that make me feel like I’m giving something up, are justification to do more unhealthy and risky things around them.
I’ve sat scared that the slight changes in me are from getting older, and not from MS, but in reality, they are probably from a combination of – how I live… and MS. I can’t keep going like I am, and can’t keep living like I am and make any positive changes. I needs to address my health head on. Diet, needs to change. Drinking, needs to go down. Smoking, needs to stop and stop for good. Exercise, has to happen. I need to get over not being who I was before, and not being decent or able to even play basketball, baseball, and football. I need to find something that can get around my excuses about balance, my ankle, and my fatigue. I need to find something that is fun for me, the way playing pick up ball used to be on the basketball court.
I need to stop saying “need to” and “hope I do” and go out there and make things happen. I need to do all of this, or I will die young. It’s that simple.
On top of health, it’s time to confront myself internally. Living in the moment is something I’ve striven to do for months now. It’s something that when done right helps me realize that the thoughts in my head are manifestations of my biggest worries and of my biggest fears. Or of delusions of grandeur and cockiness, when they’re really good. This keeps me grounded and gives me the ability to not fall quickly into depression and anxiety. It’s something that when done wrong, leads to me making reckless choices and taking chances that are not in any way healthy. “Fuck it, we will all be dead one day” is not the choice.
Not caring about money and possessions is a good mentality, but not when you make 3 times as much money as you ever have, yet have just as small of a savings and spend it all. And I can’t blame it on medical bills and travel, yes that costs a bunch, but there’s still so much more money that I just through away and run through with no purpose. That needs to stop to. If you want to reach your goals you have to be realistic and grounded in your approach.
It’s time to realize that Matt Walker is a good person. That I am someone that can be there for others, but needs to be there for himself. I need to realize that I like myself and to start to care about how I feel. No more rolling over for “friends” or girls, or anything. Stand up for what’s right, and realize that any real friends or real relationship material, won’t find that attractive or fun to be around anyway. You know this because your real friends don’t get that side of you, and you’ve been bluntly told that by woman that cared.
It’s time to stop worrying about who I am going to be and just be it. I need to accept my flaws, and accept my qualities, btu not let that lead to feelings of guilt or despair, or pride and over the top boastfulness. It’s time to get my feeling about who I am from myself, and not from how others feel about me.
It’s time to confrom MS. To realize that I do have something that can kill me. I do have a disease that could take my legs, and take my cognitive abilities. I do have to think in relation to multiple sclerosis when I think about any life changes I want to make. I do have to think about medical bills, health insurance, and pure mobility when I think about what I want to do with my life. It’s time to not get scared, and forget this. It’s time to stick with it, to be strong and power through it.
It’s time to inspire yourself, and not just in the moment like you always do. It’s time to just start changing things in your life that you don’t like. It’s time to find out who you really are. You know now more than you ever have, who you can be, but you still don’t have it in you; who you truly are now.
So the plan. In the next two years I’m going to travel more again. I’m going to see more areas, and I’m going to figure out where I want to be. Right now, I’m 90% sure it’s in the Bay Area, but let’s get that to 100%. I do find value in the growth that could happen living in a new country, even if it’s for a year or two. I do find value in facing the unknown, and knowing you can come out of it better. In that time, I’m going to start slowly this time, to better myself.
I’m going to eat better. Diet affects MS greatly, that has almost been proven at this point (scientific studies have been done but they don’t have the backing to run multi-million dollar tests, unless the outcome is a huge pharma contract. On top of MS, I need to just eat better. I live in fucking San Francisco, the easiest place to eat healthy in America. No excuses here, time to lose some weight and get rid of all shit that I eat.
I’m going find physical activities that I love: I was never an athlete by definition, but i was pretty good at sports. That’s out now. Unless major medical breakthroughs come, I will never be able to play basketball the same way again, or hit a softball. My eyesight is changed, and my balance is off. So what. Swim, row, go canoeing, hike, do things that you like and bring peacefulness to your chaotic life. Lift a bit, ride the bike, do anything to get moving. I know that I feel better the instant I sweat a bit.
I’m going to cut back on partying. I may have to go a month or two again not drinking at all, to be able to handle not smoking and actually quitting. I may have to keep doing that longer. I can’t drink as much as I do now, because I’ll die of something way before MS paralyzes me. I need to do this, and I know that I can. When things get ugly, it’s usually out of self-hate and loneliness, and needed alcohol to make me be social or forget about something. That’s not healthy and not why I enjoy life. Just stop.
I’m going accept that there will be multiple hiccups, but I’m not going to let them become excuses. Saying, “well, you have to not kill yourself over setbacks” and then having a new setback each week is unacceptable. That’s 2 steps back 1 step forward, which was definitely not a hit in the 80’s.
I’m going try to post this here, and follow along with my own journey. Not for acknowledgement or to show off, but just for me and whoever stumbles onto the blog.
I’m going to struggle. I’m going to bitch and complain. I’m going to do it though. I’m going to just make the most out of this life… as I learned in “When I Walk” a great documentary about a horrific case of MS… “because you only get one.”