I’ve been struggling a lot lately. I’ve been trying to break out of the box that I’ve put myself in. That box is built on routine.
When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, this routine helped. It helped me to remember to take my medication, to not forget to take my injection every day. I took my pills at the same time every day and took my needle at the same time, every day. At first, this routine was comforting. I knew that, by following the routine, I was keeping myself healthy.
Now, the routine is putting me in a box and I want out desperately. I want to break free, but it’s not as simple as that.
I get so frantic if this routine if thrown off in any way. There are different parts to my routine: writing, swimming, working out, reading, how I get to and from work, what I eat, when my husband gets home, how I fill my evenings.
If my routine is thrown off, it destroys my day. I’m not obsessive compulsive by any means, but I’ve grown to be very anal retentive. Things have to be just so. The routine that started with my medication has taken over my life.
I need to get home at a certain time, need to be ironing my clothes by a certain time, all so that I have time to write. Part of me believes that I need to write as much as possible, do as much as possible, before it’s too late.
I have relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis. Before I was first diagnosed, I was bed ridden for a month and a half. There is a fear in the back of my head that the MS may do this to me again and that, in the meantime, I have to do as much as I can.
In my mind, I need to workout, write, cook, swim, write and write some more before it’s too late, before the MS hits me hard again and I have to learn to do everything all over again. There is always that fear, that worry, that I will have my life taken from me once more. There is the constant need to truly be alive, to be living, to prove to myself that I am alive
On top of that fear, there is the routine that at first helped me, comforted me and gave me the boundaries I needed so very much. It is the routine that set me on the path I’m on now but now, the boundary is constricting.
I have to step out of the box and walk off the path. I don’t mean in any drastic way, I am going to continue my meds and do those healthy things that my body loves so much such as workouts, eating well, swimming.
But not every moment has to be filled with the writing of words. When was the last time I sat and read a book? When was the last time I painted one of my canvasses? When was the last time I sat and watched a movie?
It seems that, by trying to find a way to live my life to its fullest, I have put myself further and further into that box I carry inside my head. I can’t let other things slide in order to just focus on one thing. Writing isn’t everything and there is so much that I want to do.
So, maybe I really need three things: How to break out of the box, how to break free of my routine and break out of my head.
This requires some food for thought, for sure, but also a re-evaluation of what is important to me. Over the next little while, I am going to re-engage with my brain and my body and try to recognise that I’m only human.
I may be doing the work of three people, but I’m allowed to do the work of one person, too. I just need to remember that.