This blog was set up to be a place where I discuss MS. It became a place where I dove in head first and went all out last year. It became a place where I answered and thought through questions I had on my own. And it’s become a good analogy for what happens to you mentally after being diagnosed with a disease like MS.
The future gets sped up, scary, unknown, and less meaningful all at once. Your beliefs are challenged, and the things you wanted down the line in your life change rapidly. Relationships you have change and the way you think about them change.
Things that would have floored you a few years ago, just roll off your shoulder. Things that you wouldn’t have a spent a minute worrying about keep you in bed all day with depression.
I’ve been struggling to figure out what I want for a long long time. I still don’t really know. I don’t believe that I ever will. When things are good, that isn’t a bit scary. A life of discovery and searching isn’t something that I’m against. It’s this curiosity that I pride myself on. It’s what makes me want to keep learning, makes me want to keep experiencing new things.
Things get bad, sporadically, for everyone. Since diagnoses for myself, it feels like it’s something I can schedule every few weeks. I get the feeling that I have no idea what I’m looking for, that I never will be steadily happy. That nothing we do in life truly matters. That no one really cares about your diagnoses and your health, and that you are on an island in life by yourself.
When your mind drifts to these thoughts, you try to center in on the great stuff going on in your life. You also black out the bad, and can fall behind on things you need to do.
You wonder to yourself, why care about anything? Why worry about eating healthy or drinking less, or not smoking cigarettes, because you have no future to stick around for. Not necessarily because of the affects of MS, but because your philosophy is so shitty that there’s nothing to be excited about.
You look at romantic interests like unobtainable interests for a hopeless romantic, and not as someone that could be a great part of your life. You think about anyone that likes you in terms of “too good for you” or “not good enough” with no finesse or actual thought.
All of these things are then rumbled around in your mind and you are left wondering, “am I crazy, am I depressed?” You sit there wondering if all of these things come directly from the way your handling MS, or are they things that you would think no matter what you went through.
You’re left working from home one day, and not being able to focus on anything, because fuck your job, you don’t really help people. Fuck San Francisco because it’s too expensive, an over-indulgent city where you’ll never feel at home unless you are embellishing in vices and over doing it. Fuck you because you are creating a life long self fulfilling prophecy about you being alone and pathetic later in life when you don’t connect with anyone and your health diminishes.
You are left typing into a blog that you only type in when things are shitty but not when they’re the shittiest because you don’t have the energy when it gets there. When you’re happy, you just go live life.
That’s normal. People express themselves freely when they are in a bad place and want to get back to a good place. But, what may not be “normal” is that you can’t think of a time when you believed things were going to be good. When you’re in a good mood you try to pinpoint the source of that mood, and for you, that leads two things. One’s to a girl that you like and the way you think they feel about you. The other is usually success, and money. With the first you sabotage yourself with any relationship because you can’t be looking for someone to save you and make you whole. With the second savings fly out the window and needless purchases are made. You travel 10 times in a year instead of doing it 7 and saving some money. You buy sunglasses that go with one outfit, or new snearkers for a Friday night to look good when you probably should pay for your medical bills.
It almost feels like as soon as you don’t have to keep climbing, you take a jump to see how much fun the fall can be. That leaves you constantly free falling and then climbing mountains. It’s a relentless life and one that doesn’t feel like you want to keep going.
The possible worst effect of the mental anguish that comes with a lifelong chronic disease, is the constant comparing, the constant feelings of being lucky or feeling guilty because of “how bad/good you have it.” When something horrible happens in someone’s life you almost don’t know how you will react anymore. Sometimes it hits you really really hard when it doesn’t even affect you, as empathy has built up inside you as you dealt with your problem.
Some other times, you have to almost fake having any feelings whatsoever. You feel like a sociopath that doesn’t truly care for others as you know that you should feel sympathy but for some reason there’s nothing there today.
You watch a movie or TV show and where you used to enjoy something, you just don’t anymore. It’s a like an emotional crapshoot.
Every morning when I wake up I feel like I’m rolling the dice on how I’m going to feel. Am I going to actually have energy today? Am I going to fly through all of my tasks with vigor or at least competence? Am I going to lay staring at the ceiling dreading going outside, with numb legs and fear that this is only going to get worse.