I often feel that my brain is full of things to share, but my body is too exhausted to make the effort.  I like to chalk this up to MS, and not inherent laziness.

Life is ever-changing, amorphous.  It gently pushes you down different paths merely because of circumstance.  And choice.  Of course.  We make the choices, even if we don’t realize it.

When I was diagnosed with MS, I felt relieved.  That’s the truth.  I knew something was wrong and the not knowing was a dark rabbit hole of fear.  Knowing — while shattering — made things so much more clear.  And I was able to choose what kind of MS patient I wanted to be.  I didn’t want it to define me – despite the fact that it does define nearly every moment of my day.  I recently read a blog post by a Lupus sufferer called “The Spoon Theory” and it certainly helped to define the immense ways that a chronic condition infiltrates your life.  But … that being said, or rather, that being acknowledged, having a chronic condition remains only one part of who I am.  And remembering that, holding onto that, is more important than anything.

This year, the man and I decided to go big for Lent.  We gave up drinking (something we do often, and I fail miserably at) and eating meat.  We successfully made it through forty-six days without alcohol or meat of any kind (meaning red meat, chicken, pork, etc).  We did eat fish, but surprisingly not as much as I anticipated — although we did enjoy sushi as per usual! And what I found — much to my chagrin — was that I felt a lot better.  Some issues that I had just accepted as part of my new normal subsided.  And I began to feel good about treating my body so well.

That’s the thing.  

When one of my friends had a child, she and her husband said they weren’t going to change — they were going to continue to live their life exactly as they wanted to, they were just going to do it with a child.  But inevitably things changed because that’s the nature of life, of evolution.  When I was diagnosed with MS I made the same declaration — I wasn’t going to give up things i loved, I was going to live life exactly as I had been living it.

But that’s impossible.

And as I ease into my reality (something that has definitely taken time and soul-searching) I have found that certain changes are inevitable.  And some are necessary.  I miss running.  I miss it, and I mourn it but I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself because of the loss of it.  It’s taken me nearly two years to get to that point — two long, hard, discouraging years.  And in those years, I’ve begrudgingly made small changes.  For the most part, to get through each day in an easier fashion.  I initially didn’t understand people who drastically overhauled their lives — how did they just make a choice to change everything about who they were as people?  I could do the green smoothies, the vitamin D — but I drew a pretty permanent line there.  Going back and slowly redefining that line has been both character building and humbling.

So will I miss eating meat?  Yes.  I love a good steak, a juicy burger.  But will I miss how it made me feel afterwards?  Not just initially, but for the few days it takes my body to digest meat?  Not really.

And I guess I have to admit the same for alcohol.  And until I figure out how to enjoy things in tiny moderation, those are the choices I have to make.  Just as parents cannot un-have a child (nor would they ever want to!) I cannot un-have MS.   But life can still be beautiful for me — beautiful and full of adventures and good food and lemon-flavored sparkling water.  And I’m finally getting to be okay with that.

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