In the End Everything Will Be OK

Living with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis (MS) is not easy, even if it looks to be that way to those around us. There are so many different types of struggles MS can bring about in our lives and so many different types of pain be it physical or emotional. The stress can be overwhelming! What really sucks is that because the disease is chronic so is the struggle; well, it may seem that way to many at least. Never-ending… There is a quote, I cannot figure out who originally said it (there is too much debate online), that I have always used as my sort of motto after being diagnosed with MS; it’s what I have to always remind myself of when times get tough. It goes something like this;

“In the end everything will be ok, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”

Many will say with complete certainty that John Lennon said this, an old writer, even a president but it doesn’t really matter because what it means (to me) is what’s important. When you are in the middle of a stressful situation it can be hard to see past it; it can seem like it will last forever and that it will never change! But what this quote is saying is that if things are not ok right now then it is not the end because eventually, when it actually is the end, everything will be ok. So I have this printed on the back of my MS “business card” and I have that posted above my desk on my bulletin board so that I always see it when I am at my desk. When things get tough and I am hopelessly thinking, “things suck and things will always suck because things will never get better” I see that quote and remember, “no, things suck right now but they will not always suck. Things will get better, things will be ok.”

A sentiment I have to believe in, but don’t get me wrong, these moments of hopelessness can last a long time for me. Sometimes I am just in so much pain, I am so nauseous, dizzy or fatigued that I don’t want to hear an inspirational quote, I just want to be left alone! So I sit in the dark and I dwell on my health, I dwell on my financial issues that life with MS has brought me, how my insurance won’t cover something, how Social Security still says I do not have an actual disability, how my social life is pretty much non-existent or whatever is getting me down at that moment. But eventually I look up and see another quote that I have pinned above my desk; “The worst thing you can do is nothing” and sometimes that is all I need to motivate me to “get up” and remember that “In the end everything will be ok, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”.

This is what I believe (and not everyone will agree) and what has dictated the course of my life since I was diagnosed with MS; things don’t always change unless you change them, unless you do something to cause them to change. Sit around and complain? Nothing will change… Again, this is just what I tell myself. So long as you are working for something better then things will (in the end) be ok even if “the end” is a long ways away. And I know that not everyone can do the same amount of “something” but the amount of what you do does not matter as much as the fact that you are doing something even if it’s just getting out of bed in the morning. When I was in the hospital, (a physical rehabilitation hospital) dealing with the worst relapse I have yet to have (that left me with much permanent disability), for 6 weeks and I could barely open and close my hand I just wanted to die (at times) but even when they could not get me out of bed I at least lied there trying to open and close my hand because even that was better than doing nothing.

I know that practically speaking, the whole “things don’t change unless you change them” thing is not entirely true; over time with the right course of treatment lesions can heal and symptoms preventing you from living can go away but “what if” they don’t? How do I know that things will actually get better if I just sit and wait? That “what if” is why I push myself to work to try to improve myself even if I know that the chances that doing whatever I am doing will actually help are really low. I can’t stop trying though… Either way, I often recite this quote to myself and others in hopes that it will be just what they need to hear;

“In the end everything will be ok, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” Things will get better.

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