Living With ‘This’

No matter the amount of joy and happiness that can be experienced within a lifetime, sure to also be present are highs and lows, trials and tribulations, ups and downs. Though the adverse circumstance may be individually unique, at some juncture, we all have to live with this. The consequence of not learning to or identifying coping skills for navigating through these circumstances is likely to have negative effects on our minds, bodies, and spirit.

Planning for the pleasant parts of life

We’re already accustomed to readying for and living with the more pleasant encounters in life. For example:

  • Going on vacation. Schedule the necessary time off from work, make lodging accommodations, ensure travel arrangements are in place, luggage is appropriately packed, home is tightly secured, etc.
  • A new baby is coming. Get the nursery donned with a crib, purchase diapers, blankets, carriers, ‘baby proof’ the home, and such.
  • Becoming a homeowner. Carefully seeking for and selecting the perfect home. Having the necessary inspections completed.
  • (Voluntary) retirement. Respective personnel advised. All required paperwork is completed and submitted. Insurance and pensions in place. No questions unanswered, if applicable.

Applying these same skills

In turn, we must do the same when tragedy befalls. It's not so easy and not so pleasing. For example:

  • Facing an impending layoff at work. Inquire about unemployment compensation. Seek other job opportunities. Restructure your budget.
  • The loss of a loved one. Grieve. Seek grief counseling if necessary. Focus on the endearing memories left behind.
  • Diagnosis of chronic or fatal illness. Entreat quality medical treatment. Seek second opinion (recommended). Comply with doctor's orders.
  • Failed marriage or relationship. Work out any applicable legal issues. Find another dwelling or prepare to maintain the current residence single. Develop ways to move forward.

How can I live with this?

Determining ways in which to live your best life while living with this is crucial. Understandably, it is difficult. Amongst other dire happenstances that have occured along my journey, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007. This I have lived with since the age of 37. Fatigue, assistive devices, decline of both gross and fine motor skills, loss of independence, and more has been my life over the last 11 years. It has not been easy. It is not easy. Regarding the MS as well as other calamitous matters experienced in my life, I had to ask myself: How can I live with this?

I chose to live past - or through - my  this because the alternative was of no benefit at all.

Preventing emotions from taking control

Bitterness, despair, despondency, hopelessness, and the like can not only make you physically ill and sometimes even exacerbate your situation, but also has the potential to become chronic. This risks said emotions likely taking control which ultimately perpetuates diminishing one’s quality of life, impairs functioning, and stunts moving toward any goals, dreams and desires you may have for yourself.

Being optimistic and positive

I understand. Some say that it's easier said than done. However, I stand firm in encouraging anyone living with this or that to focus on any positives around you, no matter how small. Focus less on what you can no longer do or what you may not have, where you're unable to go, etc. Being optimistic and positive is advantageous in creating a satisfactory future. It may not be what you originally planned for or desired, but living with this, albeit probably life changing, it is definitely doable and worth living.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Do you live with any comorbidities aside from MS?