The other day, when I was talking to someone, I mentioned how meditation was really helping me deal with my Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis. She looked at me, her mouth drawn into a frown of sympathy, and said “Oh, honey! Poor you!”
I went through a multitude of responses in my head, wanting to say something in response, when my spirit responded for me. “No no, it’s all good.”
“It is?” She said.
“Yes, I got this.”
I’ve been reflecting on this conversation for a couple days now. The truth is, a few years ago, I would have agreed with her. I would have said “Yes, poor unfortunate me.” I would have welcomed her pity and sympathetic glances. I would have given in to a pity part and bemoaned how my life had turned out so horribly.
I was that way for six months. I was mired in a forest of self-pity, the trees growing around me dark and filled with shadows. However, I missed the light that had been in my life, I missed joy. I decided to go on a journey to find them, to welcome them into my life again.
Along the way, while I leaned once more to do the things that I had taken for granted, I learned about what courage was. I learned about perseverance. I learned to look fear in the eyes and not be afraid of the life I was living now, to take my life in my hands and take back control.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but every step that I took towards my light was a step to reclaiming my life. I realized that there was no room in my mind for self-pity if I was going to get better. Self-pity and self-loathing would have landed me mired in the dark forest and I would never have ventured out of it again.
Instead, I looked at everything as a gift. Being able to do the things I had taken for granted was a gift: being able to iron my clothes, change the cat litter, dress myself, read a book, take a shower, ride the bus, write anything. All of those things which I had done without thought were now gifts to me because I could do them again.
Other things became gifts and instances of light. From the birds I saw, flying through the air on their own journey, to the sun shining on my face giving me warmth, to reading a great novel, writing a story of my own. Things that had been around me for my whole life, but had held no meaning, now gave to me their joy so that I could find my own.
After some time, the way I thought about the Multiple Sclerosis changed. Gradually, it became a light of its own, showing me what I truly had to be grateful for, what I had to cherish, what mattered most to me. It became a gift in its own way, showing me what to be thankful for. That, though every challenge and obstacle I had to overcome, there was joy. There was light, even in the darkest moments.
That’s not to say that my life has been without challenges. I am in pain of some sort every day. This morning as I write this, my leg muscles had become like stone, making it feel as if I’m walking on stilts. Other days, my back muscles may spasm or my shoulders. It’s not picky, my whole body is a buffet. I still have brain fog where my memory and my brain aren’t working to well, I still have difficulty speaking sometimes, I still deal with sometimes crushing fatigue.
But that’s okay, too. More than okay.
Even with the issues that Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy bring, I am reminded every day I am alive, that I am still going, still fighting. More than anything, I am still grateful and I am still thankful for the life I have.
So, when I told the woman “It’s all good, I got this”, this is what I was trying to convey in a small handful of words.
Every time that the MS and CP have me down or I’m having a rough day, that’s what goes through my head. That’s what I say to myself each and every time I am having a bad day.
I got this and life is awesome.