When Enough is Enough: I Get It
It's Friday night and I'm dining on chinese food and watching one of my favorite actresses in one of my favorite movies. The actress is Jennifer Lopez and said movie is Enough. After several years of physical abuse suffered at the hands of her abusive, philandering spouse, the time comes when enough is just that - enough - and it's blatantly apparent that action needs to be taken in order to regain control of her and her young daughter's life, happiness, and well-being as opposed to an existence of suffering at the inhumane hands of her husband. My distress, however, is not an abusive relationship, but rather living with a chronic disease: Multiple Sclerosis. And though the two are not the same, I get it.
I get it
Hits, kicks, pushes, choking, threats, stalking, manipulation... all factors that are shown in that televised physically abusive, toxic, stressful, frustrating, and troubling relationship. This man's odious behaviors and monstrous actions towards his wife evoked feelings of anger, confusion, sadness, and despair. She lived a dangerous life under his controlling, unpredictable and apathetic conduct. I was happy at the point where she surmised that she and her daughter's lives were better than this intolerable existence and that she'd had enough. And though not the very same, I get it.
Though this was a movie, we are cognizant that there are indeed some living in the same situation. My heart goes out to them and my prayers ascend that the victims are able to find their way to a safe place, both physically and emotionally. Additionally, I do not claim that my state is one and the same as those that suffer abuse at the hands of another. What I am saying is that as I watched the movie, I could not help but identify likenesses in the perpetrator and MS so… though not the very same, I get it.
My symptoms of fatigue, limb pain, numbness and tingling, muscle weakness, declination of function, loss of independence, etc. all educe like emotions. Living with MS is stressful, frustrating, and troubling.
The illness is as callous, as unpredictable, as apathetic, as controlling as an abuser. It doesn't care who it afflicts, its flares can arise at any time it so chooses. You must be careful planning activities as MS may or may not allow them to come to fruition. It causes physical pain, and it's emotionally draining. Different circumstances, same feelings produced... I get it.
I began to fight for my life
MS is a degenerative, chronic disease for which, at present, there is no cure. I knew it wasn't going away, but I also knew that living in despair while helplessly and despondently awaiting the next 'hit' was a dangerous option. With a life to live and children looking at me as their model on how to navigate through adversity, my day arrived when it became blatantly apparent that I needed to regain control of my life, happiness, and well-being. It was then that I knew that enough was enough, and like Jennifer Lopez's character in the movie, I began a plan to fight for my life.
Working with my specialist to devise a plan
I couldn't run away, but I could turn to seriously working with my specialist to identify an effective treatment plan, including: DMD and medicines for symptom management, physical therapy to maintain function as best as possible and to avoid atrophy, occupational therapy to discover how to work around my limitations, assistive devices to help me navigate where and when needed, reading to keep me abreast of the latest updates and developments on cures, research and such - as well as articles, testimonials and experiences from fellow MS'rs to stay in the loop, learn what works for others and share what may work for me. I sought emotional tools to help me handle and weather the woes and lows that are sure to come.
In short, I do what I can to ensure that this beast doesn't capture me - not without a fight anyway. When enough turmoil is enough turmoil, no matter the circumstances, we get it.
How well do people around you understand MS?