Suffering In Silence

Have you ever been told that you are being too quiet? That you don’t interact much with others often? Or you might be on the other side of the table… are you looking at a friend or relative, realizing that they aren’t being themselves? Are they being extra quiet and secluded? If you answered yes to any of these questions, let me share with you my experience.

As most of you can tell from my writing, I’m very blunt and sarcastic; I like to make people laugh. However, that’s not always the case, especially lately.

I've been quiet lately

I’ve been a bit quiet here recently and haven’t really wanted to converse with others on the phone or in person. While I hope that those close to me don’t take it personally, it’s something that is hard to explain.

I’ve been extremely stressed lately, more than ‘normal’. It’s almost like a brain overload, where I can’t take any more things going on, and I go into self-preservation mode. Picture a robot that is on and is being active/mobile. Then, all of a sudden, things go crazy around it, and it powers down... that’s how I feel.

I feel like I’ve switched on my ‘power down’ button

I feel like I’ve switched on my ‘power down’ button, to keep myself safe and sane. I’m sure I or someone else has gone over a topic in relation to this before, but I felt like I needed to revisit it. Things change and how we cope with situations can also change. If you were looking at me right now, you wouldn’t ‘see’ anything wrong with me, physically.

I feel like I'm standing in the middle of rush hour traffic

BUT… on the inside, I feel like I’m standing in the middle of rush hour traffic. I’ve come to find that a lot of MS’ers tend to go into hiding when things get to be too much. The kicker is, now we’re suffering in silence. Those around us don’t know how to approach us to figure out what’s going on or what’s wrong. I wish I had an easy answer on HOW to help us, but I haven’t found one yet.

Mentally, I am just confused and overwhelmed. I keep forgetting things as I’m doing them, constantly getting lost in thought, not knowing which way is up. However, it’s hard to admit to others, especially those who don’t deal with this struggle, what’s going on and how we’re feeling. If I could voice what was wrong, how I’m feeling, and what needs to be done to fix it, life would be much easier.

The solution is stuck in my MS brain

It seems that the solution to this formula is stuck in my MS brain and can’t find its way out of the maze of lesions for me to communicate it. So instead, I’m struggling in silence. I’m silently suffering. I wouldn’t even label this as ‘depression’, because I’ve suffered from that most of my life. I’m just… tired. We wake up every day and enter into the war with MS. It is a daily battle, against our own bodies, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know that I will eventually get back to ‘normal’, but it takes time.

Being ‘normal’ is overrated anyways

My advice to those who have a loved one that has or is going through this? Don’t pressure them to lighten up or talk about it. Just be there for them when THEY are ready to talk.

Also, sometimes it isn’t just a mental struggle, but it can be physically debilitating on top of that. As I’m writing this, I have barely slept because my legs just ache. There is no describing this type of ache, but it just hurts and there isn’t a lot that can make it ‘feel’ better.

Stress can act as a trigger for MS symptoms

Let's take this as a reminder that stress can cause issues in Multiple Sclerosis. It’s been known as a ‘trigger’ for MS symptoms to flare up. Stress levels are hard to manage as well. Especially when you’re in a situation like I recently was where I just kept thinking in my head, “When it rains, it pours.”

For those of you that have experienced what I have described or something similar… this is to know that you aren’t alone. It sucks, there is no sugar coating it. But… we’re fighters, we’re strong and we can defeat this.

Continuing to battle against Multiple Sclerosis isn’t a sprint - it’s a marathon.

Ashley Ringstaff

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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.

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