Living with a Thankful Heart This Holiday Season, and Every Day with MS
I'm sure many people wonder how I can remain so positive and happy about being diagnosed with such an unpredictable and trying disease-in fact, some may be annoyed by my positivity. After, having MS for more than half of my life though, you have to learn to be. Diagnosis and everything that comes with MS has never been pretty per say, and it's definitely not been a walk in the park for me or I'm sure for anyone. However, I've learned over the years you can look at it with positivity and learn from it, or you can have a pity party and live a life filled with regrets and negativity. Obviously I chose the first one, and I think you should too!
I'm thankful in so many ways for what MS has taught me. Am, I thankful to have MS itself? No, not at all-but I can't change it so I choose to put on a happy face and deal with it day by day. As the holidays are approaching I am reminded in so many ways to be thankful. Thankful that my MS has remained unchanged thus far, thankful for the wonderful friends and family that are my rock to lean on when bad days hit, and overall thankful for life in a nutshell. Life is hard, we all have our hardships and struggles. And, life with an incurable disease can make life even more difficult. But, I've always liked to think of my MS as a blessing in disguise. I was diagnosed so young, and if I could go back through those first 5-10 years living with it, I would tell myself so many things. So here is what I want to tell you:
If you are low or down in the dumps about your MS-PLEASE talk to someone. Don't suppress your emotions like I did. Find a safe place and let people know your struggles. It's ok to be weak, and it's ok to be depressed. Life has thrown us a major curveball, and instead of being afraid to talk about it-talking about it could be the best thing you've ever done. Whether it's through counseling, a psychologist or even just someone you trust...seek the help you need and be open and honest.
Invest in your health:
I know first hand the struggles of fatigue and feeling like I have no energy to take care of myself much less make my health a priority! But, once you take that first step to try and eat better, workout and do some personal development it's easier to keep going that extra mile to be your best in every aspect. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle to do right by my body daily, but I can tell you one thing, I never regret that workout and I never regret that healthy meal. So...take a walk, read that book, eat those fruits and veggies, and drink more water. Becoming more aware of my overall health (mentally, physically, and emotionally) has turned my life upside down in the best of ways!
Share your story:
It took me almost 12 years to openly share my story and the struggles I have had with MS. But once, I did, I felt the biggest weight lifted off of my shoulders. Not everyone may accept it, and not everyone may understand, but that's okay too. There is something so freeing about being brave and stepping out of your comfort zone. You never know, what you've been through might be exactly what someone else needs to hear to make it through the next day. Turn your mess into a message!
And last but certainly not least:
Give thanks for where you are and where you have been. Give thanks for life itself, even if it's not what you imagined. It's not easy at all to be thankful when you feel like your life is everything you wish it wasn't. When you literally cannot feel your legs and you're so tired you can't find the motivation to get going-being thankful is the last thing on your mind. I have to remind myself daily to be thankful, for the trials and the triumphs-because honestly, it could always be worse. But, you guys, I've learned that if I start every day with a thankful heart it changes everything! A positive outlook can make all of the difference in simply finding the energy to get out of bed and finding the motivation to "run" that extra mile. With a thankful heart you can only go up from there, but with a negative heart and attitude, what do you have to win? Life isn't always picture perfect, but it's as beautiful as we make it.
Wishing blessings and many amazing days ahead for all of you! May the holidays be wonderful for you in every way!
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