How To Dance Through Life with MS

I was reading about ballerinas the other day. Ballerinas are often seen as these beautiful, graceful dancers that so effortlessly dance and glide across the stage. As you watch a ballerina dance your mind is in awe of the elegant twirls, leaps and different poses they strike as they seemingly float across the floor. Their poise and graceful moves are enchanting, and in the moment it’s easy to forget all of the pain and wholehearted dedication that it took to get there. Ballerinas wear certain pointe shoes to make them appear magical. They create an illusion of lightness and are what make the ballerina appear that they are floating on air.

Anything but comfortable

The shoes appear dainty, but these special shoes are anything but comfortable. They are packed at the toes with layers of fabric and even cardboard or wood. The dancer must depend on their shoes to be extremely sturdy, because the entire weight of their body is balanced on such a small platform. It is essential that the pointe shoes be broken in as no two pairs are the same. As the ballerina breaks in her shoes their feet blister and bleed. They spend long hours practicing for their upcoming performances. Yet, when we watch a ballet it becomes so easy to forget all of the blood, sweat and tears they had to put into such a beautiful talent. We don’t see the suffering they’ve gone through to achieve the art of ballet. A ballerina hides her strength in her beauty. We as an audience see the outward beauty, but only they know the difficulty it took to get there.

Just another person floating through daily motions

Living life with relapse-remitting MS can feel much the same for me at times. I am very fortunate to not have any physically obvious symptoms. My symptoms are primarily invisible. To the naked eye people may see me as just another person floating through the daily motions, but they don’t see the suffering I’ve endured to get to where I am today. Life with MS is often unpredictable, and like the pointe shoes, no two people with MS are the same. We all have different issues.

One day at a time

And as nice as it may be to not have visible symptoms, it can be frustrating for others to be unable to see what we’re going through. MS has taken its toll on my body in every aspect; physically, mentally and emotionally. However, because of these struggles I have learned the art of taking what life throws at me and dancing through them as effortlessly as possible. It can be difficult, and at times I almost desperately want others to understand what a day in the life of MS entails. There are days where I feel defeated and purely exhausted (both literally and figuratively) and on those days I wish I could painlessly do things like my friends and family who do not live with an invisible illness. I have to depend on myself to stay strong in every way to get through the pain, fatigue, and other issues. Like a ballerina hides her strength in her beauty, we must also learn how to hide the pain and keep gliding through life. One day at a time.

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