I’m often surprised by my disabilities.
The other day when I was coming back from a walk, I opened my apartment door and was taking a step inside when my body decided to have a full body spasm. I lost my balance and fell into the kitchen doorway. I bonked my head a bit and bruised my left hand and scared the crap out of my cat. I was more worried about him than I was about myself, which is as if should be.
I was in a lot of pain for the rest of the day and had to remember to be kind to myself and treat myself with kid gloves. I used to hate having to grind everything to a halt when my multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy made doing anything impossible, but I’ve come to accept it. I have to give my body what it needs.
When I began to fall, there was a moment of fear. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling helpless in my own body when it decides to do what it wants. Then come the questions: what do I think cause the body spasm? What caused me to lose my balance? What did I do the night before that could have triggered it? There is no rhyme or reason to my spasms or my loss of balance. It simply is.
That’s something else I’ve had to come to terms with as well. I used to wonder like everyone else what could have caused it, what I had done to make the spasms happen. I’ve lost my balance quite a few times. There was no warning, I was up and then I was down. I’ve come to accept that the falls just happen, the same as the spasms.
I’ve come to realize that there is a lot of fear when it comes to my symptoms. I never have any idea what my body is going to do or what symptom I will have that day. The days where I have difficulty talking or typing are the most frightening, as are the times where I have difficulty seeing. Then there are the ones like balance and body spasms that creep up unexpectedly.
As much as pain is a constant bedfellow, so is fear. I hate not being in control of my body and having MS and CP makes sure that I am not in control all of the time. I hate living in fear, having been afraid for a lot of my life. It’s a state that I know well.
I’ve also come to realize that I can’t continue to live this way. Pain is one thing, it’s so much a constant that it’s become a dull constant. I can’t live with fear. I hadn’t even realized that fear was so close to the surface, that it was coming along for the ride and colouring my actions and what I would do.
I have to let go of fear. I can’t be afraid to live my life the way I choose, always looking behind me for whatever will come and what I think will try to take me down. However, there’s something I always do and that’s get up and keep going. It may be at a slower pace than before, but I always keep going.
I already feel like I share my body with two other people, with Cybil Paulsen and Max Shadow. I don’t want to imagine a third unseen person living within me. I’ve come to look at Max and Cybil as travellers with me on my journey as opposed to enemies. I can’t let a third unseen being continue to haunt me. Today, I let go of the fear and embrace whatever happens. I have to let it go to the wind because as long as I’m afraid, I’m not really living.
Today, I will embrace the possibilities and try to move beyond fear. I will let go of thoughts that are holding me back and look toward the future.