Always, “what’s next?”
It seems like the “journey” with a chronic disease is more of a loop. At least for me. There’s times when I can easily just see a bright future where I want certain things for myself, and it’s easy to fall into, “fuck it, the future will suck, live it up now.”
I get motivated, usually by some external force, I do healthy stuff, I feel better, something bad happens, I feel worse, and I slowly slide into more and more unhealthy habits. I guess that’s everyone’s problem. I guess that’s not unique to me, to MS, or to anything.
The question for me is, “how do you stop this?” I need to find an answer because living like this is a waste. I didn’t fully enjoy a trip to Puerto Vallarta and another to San Diego, because I’m feeling down about myself. That feels sickening to even say, because in reality, having the opportunity to do these trips is something that a very small percentage of people have.
The worst part for myself is the physical pain I feel in my stomach, but what makes it so much worse is the guilt I feel for even feeling sad or depressed. I live a great life, I’ve said it many times here.
I think people need to be able to look at any situation outside of their own spectrum. You need to be able to take a step back, breathe, and then assess everything like you are looking through the eyes of someone unconnected, and then through the eyes of someone close to the situation, often the person directly opposite you. If you have a problem or disagree with someone else, take a look at the situation from their perspective, it will at least help you relate to where they are coming from.
This, for me, is easy when it comes to most things. I pride myself on being able to see the world and respect other people’s perspectives. When it comes to my personal life, and my thoughts about myself, that was, and is, never the case.
It’s easy to blame MS and the finality of the diagnosis for this. It’s easy to use that as a crutch for why I’m upset whenever things don’t go perfectly. It’s not correct, though.
If I’m going to believe what I’ve said before; “MS isn’t you, it’s not even a piece of you,” then I have to believe that this is a separate problem. All I can give MS, in this fight, is that it clouds your judgement towards all things and makes you question if this disease is the reason things are the way they are.
After that, I have to put the rest on myself. I have to look in the mirror and stare through the bad thoughts to the good ones. Through my memories of actions and mistakes I’ve made to the wonderful moments where life was shining. Through the clouded self-perception I have right now, and to the part of me that I actually like a lot.
I tend to talk things through, to a fault. When speaking with friends in the last few weeks, a constant is that I need to fully get the confidence I should have. I agree, but I feel that my one fear is valid.
I know myself, and I know that confidence and cockiness are tied closely together. If I was truly as confident as people would like me to be, I fear that I would just be a cocky prick, which is a small part of me that I hate.
That leads to the conundrum of trying to be a nice person for someone that overthinks everything. The fact that I take things hard and am self critical when they do go wrong, makes me a better and more likable me. The fact that I take things hard, also, leads me to desperate decisions, which a lot of times are unhealthy and poor choices, which makes up the worst parts of me for those that care about me.
Now, add in my tendency to look for the blame and cause of things that happen, and you’re left with me looking inwardly and either blaming myself, and just concluding that “I’m messed up” or it leads to me blaming others or just blaming MS. When this latter thing happens, I tend to look for anyway to forget about it. That leads to drinking more, that leads to eating shit, and sitting in my room playing video games or watching Netflix. That leads to nothing good.
There’s really no conclusion here that is a “let’s get this!” type advancement. There’s nothing to tie up this thought process, and nothing that would make me just move towards a decision or a goal. There’s nothing, but a sense of somber bewilderment at the fact that I am the same person who wrote from Mexico City a few weeks ago. That person wasn’t the happiest, but that person also could easily look at their life with (what I think is) a more accurate and positive perspective.
A few days later, a lot of drinking in Puerto Vallarta and a few unreturned texts later, and I was on the path that’s kept me down through the most exciting years in my life. I really have no idea where it came from. I really have no idea what’s next, and this brings me to the one conclusion-ish thing I can draw from this. Not knowing is life, not knowing is what makes finding out exciting. Not knowing when you have something “wrong” with you, is terrifying. Not knowing when you have a disease that reacts differently in different weather, at different times, with different diets, and with different people, is what makes accepting and moving on with MS so difficult.