Living · Mind · MS Life

Then:Now

My life has changed immeasurably over the past 10 years.  This time in 2007, I was relatively newly married, working full time and just enjoying my evenings and weekends with hubby with no cares in the world.  Fast-forward to 2017 and instead of being a happy-go-lucky newly wed, I am a 30-something disabled wife and mother, who is struggling with work.

Its easy for me to say that things have changed for the worse; my MS progression has lead to huge lifestyle changes and every day challenges that I didn’t have before.  But if I really think about it, with these negatives also come some positives.  Maybe not so obvious, but they are there, nonetheless.

Then: I was healthy; strong, flexible, energetic

I used to love going out for runs and exercise to at-home DVDs of HIIT work-outs before they became super stylish.  I was a member of our local gym and attended yoga classes, proud that I was able to get my legs over my head in a ‘plough’ and to maintain a ‘tree’ pose.  What spurred me on then was admittedly vanity; I wanted to make sure that I maintained a healthy weight so that I could justify all the chocolate and pizza I was eating.  I had energy; expenses permitted, Hubby and I would occasionally go on city breaks, wandering around exploring and shopping all day before having a night on the town.

Now: I am determined and appreciative

Nothing makes you appreciate what you do have until you lose a great deal of what you could do.  I would be lying if I said that my lack of mobility doesn’t monumentally piss me off – sorry for the language but ‘prettying it up’ wouldn’t accurately describe how I feel – but I have also learned to appreciate what I still have.  I can’t walk long distances, but I can still walk, albeit in a stumbling, wonky way with crutches.  I can’t carry out HIIT work-outs, but with the support of a chair, I can still do exercises that will help to keep my muscles toned.  I am determined to keep whatever mobility and strength that I have.  And this time, it isn’t for vanity’s sake; it is because I want my body to work as best as it can.  Following the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) programme makes me feel like I am doing everything in my power to help myself.  And I am not just determined to do everything I can to help myself, I know that I will do everything I can for my children to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with MS by encouraging them to also adhere to a healthy lifestyle as much as possible – not always easy with 6 and 9 year olds.

kidsrailing

Then: I was cheerful, happy and adventurous

I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, always looking on the bright side.  If I’m honest, I always had little time for people who seemed permanently grumpy; now, I get it.  I am that constantly grumpy person.  Over the past 10 years, I have definitely had loads of overwhelmingly happy moments; the births of our 2 children and having the privilege of seeing them grow into lovely, kind and very cheeky little kids that always keep us on our toes and a 15,000 foot tandem skydive, are the highlights.  But, as my husband said to me the other day ‘I miss you walking around with a smile on your face; you always seem to be struggling’.

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Now: I am mindful and reflective

It is easy to present a different persona to the world outside.  Even my neurologist said to me last time we went, ‘you always have a smile on your face’.  My husband just laughed; he knows the truth.  So, I am aware that I am not as happy as I was once was.  I think about this a lot and try and takes steps towards trying to increase my happiness quota: doing things that I enjoy such as blogging, crochet and sitting with friends sharing a bottle of wine.  I find myself more mindful, appreciating the little things every day – like when our daughter still comes into our room for a cuddle on a Saturday morning at 6:30am, enjoying the fact that she still wants to instead of feeling frustrated at my interrupted sleep.  Enjoying new daffodils, freshly brewed coffee and a good film.  Taking time out for self care, such as adapted yoga stretching and meditation.

My life has changed immeasurably over the past 10 years and I have no doubt that my MS is not the only reason for that.  Being a parent and inching towards 40 would change everyone, I’m sure.

How has your life changed as a result of a chronic illness diagnosis? What are the positives?

Jen 2

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Then:Now

  1. lovely blog, I am also looking for the smaller things in life now, except I’m not so keen on the sharing of a bottle of wine, 🙂
    My MS team often compliment me on my luck of fuss I make, but I make a fuss in my own head quite a lot.
    Like you I find blogging therapeutic and often surprise myself with what ends up on the page.
    John.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. It is so important to see the positive that come with MS. I just sometimes find I have to look quite hard to see them. It’s made me more appreciative of things and I look after myself more. I never did yoga before! It’s also the reason I started blogging and meeting people through that. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. aaaargh…….heading towards 40! I woke up one morning and I was 50. I don’t remember from 39 to 49 but I assume they were great as I got married and have a small son…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really beautiful blog post. Very difficult remembering who we were against who we’ve become but you certainly seem to have a good attitude about it which is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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