I forgot and that’s the most amazing thing.
On December 31st, 2012 I woke and my body was not my own. I was groggy and when I tried to stand, I ended up falling down again. As I made my way to my coffee pot, I fell into my fridge and then into my stove. I remember standing again and I poured myself a cup of coffee and lit a cigarette. After only a sip and a few puffs, I was violently ill.
It was the fist day in what seemed like forever. It was the first day that the Multiple Sclerosis made itself known. I couldn’t walk and had gone temporarily blind. Eventually, half my body would be frozen. I would have to learn to walk again with the aid of a cane. I also had to relearn how to speak and how to type. It was the beginning of a long process of getting to know who I was again and who I was meant to be.
That was a long way away, however. On New Years Day in 2013, I thought my life was over. I didn’t know what was causing this uproar in my body. I only thought of sleeping, of giving in to the darkness and letting it take me away. I only thought of giving up and letting go.
For a long time, I remembered that moment of fear and it rode on my shoulders, following me wherever I would go. I was afraid of life and what could happen to me. Of what was in my body and what it could do to me.
I gave that day a lot of power over me. For a few years, New Years Eve day was one of immense fear for me. I had the mistaken idea that the MS would come to finish me off, that I would have another relapse and that my life as I knew it would change again. That it would take my life from me.
I’m not sure when I started to forget the power that December 31st had over me. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but over time the fear faded and I didn’t approach the end of the year with fear but with anticipation. It was another chance to begin again, not another chance to be afraid.
Even so, letting of the fear was difficult. I had become so used to being afraid, to being unsure. It took a few years, but soon, it was a day of celebration. I think that the multiple sclerosis has taught me who I really am and who I was meant to be all along. Now when I remember what the day brought to me, it is a day of celebration. It is the day I took my first steps toward becoming myself.
Along the way, I’ve forgotten the days that brought fear and loathing to me. I’ve forgotten December 31st, I’ve forgotten how dark April and May used to be and now I look at August 21st, the day before my birthday when I received my diagnosis, as a day of becoming instead of one of fear.
I’ve been able to let go of fear and change what those days represent and that all began when I started to forget what December 31st represented. Now, when I remember what the day used to mean to me, I look back at who I was on December 31st, 2012 and I marvel at how far I’ve come and at how much I’ve grown. I can only hope that the new year brings many different opportunities to grow and change and to expand my spirit and my place within the flow of living. I look forward to seeing where I am this year on December 31st 2021 and how much I’ve grown.