The Wizard of Oz
I was reading a book the other day, and they mentioned the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. The film begins in classic black and white, and young Dorothy is living a simple life surrounded by the unchanging stability of Kansas. But then, a raging cyclone transports her farmhouse with Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, inside. They arrive in a new and unfamiliar, but very colorful place. Once they land, Dorothy steps out of her front door and sees a massive crowd of strange people and decides this place isn’t for her. She wanders along the yellow brick road as she explores the Land of Oz, so she can ultimately find her way back home. And then she voices the famous quote, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Along the way to Emerald City to meet the Wizard, Dorothy and Toto come across a scarecrow that needs a brain, a tin man that needs a heart and a cowardly lion who needs courage. Dorothy and the gang soon become friends, trying to get to the Wizard together so they can solve all of their issues.
A storm called MS
Over the years, a storm called MS has blown across my life, and I'm trying to make sense of the new world I see around me, just like Dorothy. Change is a hard reality of life that we can resist but unfortunately can’t avoid. And being diagnosed with MS is much the same. When it happens, it’s unavoidable. I’m not in Kansas anymore. I’m no longer in my simple, stable life that was before MS. I’m in this colorful new land, and all I can do is try to make the most of it until I can find my way back home (or back to normalcy).
I don't want to sit back and watch
Honestly, it’s a wild story, but what I love about The Wizard of Oz is that Dorothy is terrified to be in a place she’s never been, but she does whatever she has to do to find her way and even ends up doing her best to help the scarecrow, tin man and lion, too. That’s what I now envision for my life with MS. I don’t want to sit back and watch the madness around me. I want to get up, be proactive, and find my way through. I also want to help others by sharing my story.
As Dorothy travels along the yellow brick road, she and her new friends are faced with many obstacles. Dorothy and the gang face the bad witch, murderous wolves, crows, and bees; they survive an attack from the witch’s slaves, and then there are the crazy winged monkeys. With MS, rhetorically speaking, we go through the same things. We go through diagnosis, symptoms, ailments and everything in between. You see, the thing about Dorothy is that she never gave up. She had everything terrible that could happen in this crazy journey, and in the end, she still defeats the odds and makes her way to the wizard until she’s finally back home.
Following the yellow brick road
In summary, Dorothy knew what she wanted, and she found her way. MS is scary, and it’s unpredictable. I never know what new problems it will throw my way. However, in the meantime, I don’t want to sit back and sulk. I know what I want. My goal with my journey is to be proactive. I want to advocate and mentor to people who have been in the same shoes. I don’t ever want to let it defeat me or my dreams. MS isn’t a choice, but how we face life with it is. So I’m going to keep moving forward until I can’t anymore. I just have to keep following the yellow brick road.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?