"Living in the Now"

For quite a while now, I have caught myself saying:
“When I feel better, I will see my friends more."
“When I have hair, I will date again.”
“When I’m stronger, I will really get back into working out."
“When I don’t feel like I have MS symptoms showing I will pursue my dreams and pursue what I feel God is leading me to accomplish.”

Held back from truly living to the fullest

I have found that during the last couple of years I’ve held back from truly living each day, and for someone who is constantly talking about “living in the moment,” I certainly am not taking my own advice. Unfortunately, getting to this place of realization happened only after a tragic event that most definitely helped me to grasp the reality of just how short and uncertain our time on earth is.

I recently lost a dear friend

A few months ago, one of my childhood friends and someone that I loved very much was hit by a drunk driver and passed away due to his injuries he sustained from the accident. I was devastated, angry and so full of grief that someone who was trying so hard in life was suddenly gone. I mention this because he was my person that shared a love of music like I do with. Almost daily we would send each other a new song that we had just heard, or an old one that inspired us.

"Right here, right now..."

One song in particular that he sent me one morning after an emotional night of me “dumping big feelings" was
“Right Here, Right Now” by Iration. Basically, the lyrics speak of living in the present – “in the right here, right now."He sent me that song, followed with a text message that read, “Just one day at a time, we’ve got this.”

I was not at all living life like I should

It was a song that I loved so much that I added it to my playlist that I like to play when I need to just breathe, and so about a month ago when I was driving to my MS clinic for an IV infusion of Solumedrol to help with a flare-up of some nasty MS symptoms, that song came on, and I realized that I was not at all, living life like I should be.

Stuck in a "when and then" state of mind

If you have read my other story on here or if you know me, you already are aware that in August 2020 I underwent aHSCT to halt the progression of my MS. It was an intense and grueling experience; and while I am so grateful to be able to have gotten that treatment, coming home and recovering hasn’t been easy, and has put me even further into what I like to call the “when and then” state of mind. I have so much that I want to do, but I keep saying,” When this happens, then I will do that.”

The future is frightening

Since this realization, I’ve decided to change my mindset and take baby steps to really start living in the now... and with a progressive disease that currently has no cure like MS, thinking about the future can be a frightening thing. I do realize, that NOBODY knows what their future holds, but when you’ve been given a diagnosis as heavy as this one, sometimes the future is easy to fixate on. You begin to wonder if you’ll need to have a vehicle that is big enough to tote around a wheelchair or a motorized scooter... should you plan now for a home that is handicap accessible. How long before I am going to require help for daily tasks? For me, I always worry about the toll my MS is taking on my children’s mental health and what will happen to them if I become unable to care for them on my own.

Working on living and enjoying today

These are just a few of the many thoughts that creep into my mind on a pretty consistent basis, however, I am working on taking a breath, and letting all of the worries that I can’t control go; and enjoying each day as it comes. I am taking steps to do the things that I have let hold me back from starting, and not letting the fear of the future control how I live today.

There is a quote that I have seen spread widely across the MS community and one that I feel fitting to end this story with.

“I may have MS, but MS does not have me."

My friends, I hope that you are all able to live in the right here, right now, and enjoy each day the best that you can.

What are things that you hold yourself back from?

I would love to hear from you! What are some of the things that you have found that you hold yourself back from starting? Is there anything that you are currently working on or have achieved despite of your life with MS?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you!
XO- Felicia

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