Last updated: August 2022
I was reflecting yesterday on how I had a normal groove with my MS and I saw that I live in a bit of a bubble sometimes with my MS and pondered if this was self-protection, denial, or a healthy perspective on life?
A little game I like to call yellow car
Life is full of the good and the bad, and we can choose to prioritize the importance of those factors. I used to play a game called yellow car with my family, a grown-up and mature game that involved hitting the other car passengers and saying "yellow car" upon viewing one. I never saw so many yellow cars and you know that having not played it for years I cannot tell you the last yellow car I saw.
We see the things we are trained to pay attention to see. It's how we can survive by filtering out the huge amount of visual input to the eye to diminish or unsee the unimportant (although Optic-Neuritis plays havoc with that theory!)
I needed to pause on seeing yellow cars for a while
I came to realize how I sometimes change my social media or social connections based on my emotional energy levels, if they are low then I will pause facebook updates from certain MS groups, this is not because I am not interested or find it useful and helpful but it's because I can see the impact of hearing these messages of genuine and normal hardships as having a layered and negative impact on my emotional energy, I begin looking and seeing yellow cars so I stop playing the game for a while.
How I try to look for other cars for a while
This can happen with symptoms too and is of course not as easy to filter. The body naturally does this over time (remember the first time you had a symptom how it was in your forefront for such a long time),
We can use techniques like; distraction, re-focus, and gratitude to help balance things. For example, if I am feeling a dead spot in my hand I may go swimming, or if I am worried about my vision I may take a couple of days off in a new environment to change my surroundings.
Gratitude is a great way to meditate on the positive aspect of life (and we can always find them). This doesn't mean the bad stuff isn't there but it’s shifting and re-prioritizing. Gratitude meditation for me is thinking at the end of the night of 3 good things that happened on the day, it might be making a nice meal, it could be a good nap I needed to take or a cuddle with my dog. Meditating means think, re-think, and paying attention to the detail of these moments. It's amazing how the brain needs the training to pick out the positive but believe me it can be done.
What does advocacy mean to you as someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please select all that apply: