MS likes to feed lies to me daily. And I know I can’t be the only one. So, today I wanted to remind you of the truth. Remind you to stop believing the lies that MS likes to whisper in our ears. These lies can manifest in our minds quickly, but it’s up to us to stop accepting them and to shoot them down.
Lie number one: You are not enough.I feel this way a lot. I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough. A big part of MS for me is that it affects my self-esteem. I look in the mirror, and I don’t like what I see. I don’t like the tremors that have caused me to want to hide in shame. I don’t like the lines and wrinkles from the worry and stress of what’s to come. I don’t like the dents in my stomach and upper thighs from years of injections. The list goes on. But, each day when I look in the mirror, and I am fed the lie “You are not enough,” I try to beat that thought down before it even reaches the surface completely. And, I tell myself these truths instead:
The truth: I AM enoughI am beautiful in my own way; I am smart, and heck yes, I am strong! My tremors are visible and embarrassing, but they WILL NOT define me. Those lines and wrinkles? Those dents from injections? They’re my battle scars. They show that for my young age, I’ve fought hard to get where I am today. They show that although I’ve been through some low times, I have fought my way back up, and I have had to endure pain to maximize my overall health.
Lie number two: You’re too…(whatever it may be that day)You’re too forgetful, you’re too stressed, you’re too weak. You’re too dumb, you’re too harsh, you’re too emotional. We all have our moments. Again, this all stems back to my self-esteem. I am forgetful, I am stressed, and sometimes I am weak. I’m not dumb, but I have my blonde moments, and yes, I forget things. And, there are times I can be too harsh. I’m also emotional often. But all of these things don’t have to be reasons that I’m cynical and hard on myself.
The truth: These moments should be reminders that I’m humanThese moments should be reminders that I am fighting a disease, and all of these doubts and emotions are a part of my MS. I’m not “too anything,” I’m doing the best I can despite the curveballs life has thrown at me.
Lie number three: You’re a failureYou’re not a good mom. You’re not a good wife. You’re not a good friend. You’re not a good person. I have my days where all of these thoughts overwhelm me. I’m not on top of things that day; I’m a failure. I yelled at my son when I shouldn’t have; I’m a bad mom. I got upset with my husband over something small and trivial; I’m a bad wife. I can’t go out tonight, I’m too tired; I’m a bad friend. The list goes on.
The truth: I have to give myself graceGrace upon grace. I make mistakes daily. I juggle A LOT, including MS. I am a good mom. I am a good wife. I am a good friend, and I am a good person. I have forces riding against me that others don’t. I’m a strong woman. I am a fighter. Some days, it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. But, every day, no matter what, I get to hug and love on my family at the end of every day. I get to know they love me back, regardless of the kind of day I’ve had. I get to know I was BLESSED with another day to be alive. And, to me, that means something.
Lie number four: You can’t do thisIt’s all too much. The exhaustion, the pain, the symptoms. The doctors, the MRIs, the medications, the worries, and the fears. It’s a lot, and it can pull me under if I let it. There is no textbook answer telling you how to live a life with MS. There isn’t that perfect person with every single one of your symptoms to hold your hand and show you how you’re going to get through this. It’s NOT easy. In fact, it’s terrifying.
The truth: I CAN do thisIt’s terrifying, and it’s overwhelming, but nothing is impossible. I will wake up every day, and I will fight. I will take MS on kicking and screaming. Everything it brings is unpredictable, and nothing with MS is easy, but it’s doable. I will learn as I go, and I will help others along the way. I will push past whatever tries to pull me down. I will lean on my hope and my faith and know that it will carry me through.
Lie number five: Things can only get worseThis one is probably the worst lie that is eating at me lately. I don’t want to live in fear. I don’t want to believe that things will only get worse. I don’t want to worry that every new symptom is my body getting weaker. But, so many moments, I let this lie win. I let it defeat me and allow it to make me live in fear.
The truth: The truth though, is I have hopeI have hope that my disease won’t progress. I have hope that I will remain strong and able. I have hope that despite MS, I will have a long healthy life in front of me. I even have hope in a future free of MS. It may not be in my lifetime, but I still have hope. It’s all about perspective. There will be many moments where we are scared, we are sad, and we are hurting. There will be moments that we are hopeless, but I hope that we won’t stay there. Fear only wins when we let it.
I’ve struggled with these lies lately. They’re those little venomous snakes hissing in my ear, telling me all that I can’t do; all that could and will go wrong. But, I wanted you to know today, that if you’re struggling with these lies too that you’re not alone. We can overcome. We are bigger than these lies that MS tries to tell us. Overall though, I wanted to remind you of these sweet truths:
You are enough.
You’re doing your best.
You deserve grace.
You CAN do this.
You don’t have to let fear win.
“Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”-Joshua J. Marine