Since I’ve formally been labeled “disabled” by society, I’m still struggling to reestablish myself amongst it. I know I will most likely never live as I used to, but it became important to me to snuggle in with myself here and now, as I am – it’s important to me to still try to be me. Does that make sense?
For me that means holding onto things I used to do before MS was in the picture – things I can still take part in – if they include accommodations. In time, my psychiatrist has helped me see these activities as a bridge that allows me to remain in the land of the well.
I realized this when my psychiatrist asked me if I had a hobby that had nothing to do with MS. Hobby? Lady, I’m not sure if I even remember what that is. I live Multiple Sclerosis 24/7. I may have even been slightly offended! Hobby? I don’t have the energy for that. Hobby? I began to sound like Jim Mora and his “Playoffs” rant!
But within a few minutes, I got my bearings and remembered my love for the Spanish language. Yes, I had started learning and speaking Latin Spanish in early college. But several years and many dollars later, I am functional at best! Now, I know there is a cognitive component to MS, but I chose not to let that limit me and returned to learning Spanish.
Do what you can while you can. That’s what I live by! I know this is much easier said than done, but I do things within my means. That’s the key. To my husband’s annoyance, I ended up investing hundreds of dollars in Spanish educational materials. I told him my psychiatrist recommended it!
As I sit here pecking ever so slowly on my laptop, my typing is getting slower and more difficult. I imagine one day I’ll need voice recognition software. An example of yet another accommodation, but am I ready for that one? Nope. I’ll just keep pecking away until I can’t anymore.
Unfortunately, I tend to accept necessary accommodations slowly. I like to do water aerobics, but originally refused to use the chair lift that lowers disabled folks in the pool. What a hypocrite! Right? Well, it took a little coaxing, but I finally used it and felt the cool touch of the water was well worth the short miserable ride into the pool!
So, within 2 months I was able to answer my psychiatrist with a resounding, “Yes, I do have hobbies! I do things that have nothing to do with MS!” How about you?