Making Changes; My MS “New Year’s” Resolutions

So many people do this every year; upon New Year’s Eve they say, “I am going to do this and change that” and for a little while they really do before eventually falling off the wagon. I of course am no exception but I have realized that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has added a new dimension to that idea. You see, I have lots of things that I want to change regarding me but I could easily have a completely separate list of New Year’s Resolutions just for my MS!

By the time you are reading this the calendar will most likely have already flipped to the year 2017 but that doesn’t really matter because really this post is about sticking to your MS New Year’s resolutions. On top of that, I am specifically talking about goals related to MS which should not require a symbolic line in the sand that was drawn on a symbolic day of the year. This is your health, your life, so you should be able to draw that symbolic line in the sand (after today things are going to change) at any point in time during the year because it does not really matter when you decide to start the race, just that you finish it.

Making changes for the better

I have spent the last few years of my life very unhappy. Sure, there are many things that have nothing to do with MS that I need to change to be happier but there are also so many things that are the direct result of MS that affect my overall quality of life. In general, I am not happy with my health (shocking) as MS has either greatly hindered or completely taken away my ability to do so many things which can be both depressing and stressful. I understand that there are some things that I can’t change; some of the damage MS has caused me is irreversible. That being said, I also understand that there are so many things that have not become “permanent” yet but simply (keyword simply) require some work to change. Since I cannot honestly look you in the eye and say that I really believe that I have done/am doing absolutely everything in my power to make those changes for the better of my own life they have become “New Year’s Resolutions” for me.

Simple doesn't mean easy

Keyword simply; why do I feel like this is a very specific and important word to my MS New Year’s Resolutions thing? Well just because something is simple does not mean it is easy and just because something is easy does not mean it is simple. Simple just means there are few steps where complicated means there many steps. So you can have a few really difficult steps (simple) or a bunch of really easy steps (complicated) when it comes to solving a problem. A lot of the problems MS has presented me with have simple solutions that just so happen to be difficult. For example, daily stretching is a very simple solution to so many MS problems but at the same time? So many people find it difficult to either commit/stick to their daily stretching routine or to actually do the stretches themselves! Just because it is simple does not mean it is not difficult.

So a lot of what I have been planning for the New Year is simple but because a lot of it is simultaneously difficult I have been pushing it off. Well, I feel like I have finally hit the point where I need to work hard to turn certain things around because they are now greatly affecting my quality of life. I have not really wanted to do a lot of these things, I can even say I hate having to do these things but what got my thinking where it is right now was one SIMPLE question; what do I hate more, the problem or the solution? I hate physical exercise (solution) but you know what I hate more? Feeling like my legs don’t always have the strength to climb the stairs or feeling like my core is not strong enough to keep me upright and balanced (problem). I know I will never be able to do certain things at 100% the capacity I could before MS; I’ll probably never be able to walk along the edge of a brick wall again (or need to) but if I could work my way to 75% instead of 25% of what I used to be able to do? I will be much more satisfied with my life and that pertains to many of the other MS-related issues that I live with. I mostly believe that things do not change unless you make them change and because I have finally reached that “line in the sand”? I am going to make my life change and if all that I try fails? At least I can tell myself that I really do believe that there is nothing more I could have done on my own because I gave it my all.

Do you feel like there are parts of your life with MS that you can still work a little harder to try to improve? What are some examples of these types of things and how do you hope to change them? Share below!

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