The Dark Side
I’ve noticed that my writing on this website is way more positive than on my own blog. I seem to be much happier in America than the UK!
Pretty “ha-ha” but my wife called me out on it over the weekend – I tend to talk a good game about positivity and mindfulness in my writing but the reality is often something else.
On Sunday we had a trip to our local cinema – without our daughter, so it was an unusual experience actually watching a film without having one eye on a roaming / dancing toddler.
We had to park a fair distance from the cinema so I was walking with my stick – my wife offered me her hand but I brushed her offer away.
In my defence, my troublesome left leg was playing up so I was really concentrating on lifting it. But still – she was just trying to help her disabled husband who was struggling.
Later that day, something happened which made me snap at her – too silly and irrelevant to go into on here.
Now I’ve always had a pretty short fuse – the line about me was that I would “sweat the small stuff”. I didn’t lose it when I was diagnosed with MS or during the birth of my daughter. But if I can’t find my keys or my wallet, I will GO HULK.
The majority of the time this anger is directed at no-one but me. Even so, sometimes I feel that it’s getting worse.
And as MS pours more little indignities over me in the coming years, is my fuse going to get ever shorter? Are the two related? Am I doomed to spend eternity on the ‘Anger’ stage of the Kübler-Ross model of grief?
A while back I was letting silly worries stop me from taking my daughter out or walking the short commute to work and a short course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy really helped me.
Which is not to say that it isn’t an ongoing struggle, requiring a fair amount of planning and “just-in-case” trips to the toilet. But through my CBT I can see a way out of the maze of silly thoughts and find a practical way to deal with them.
I see a lot of things written by the MS community about how other people can’t really understand what we’re dealing with. And I agree, but isn’t this the case for everyone, chronic illness or not?
My wife is amazingly supportive and has stuck with me through it all. And while I might be getting angry and frustrated with myself, I should try to remember that there’s another person present.
So here are some questions for you:
- What’s your level of anger like?
- Has it got worse since you were diagnosed?
- Have other people in your life noticed it?
And if you’ve found a way to cope with it which works for you, I’d love to hear about it!