I have spent a lot of time managing symptoms of MS but somehow have avoided that ever-present symptom of…FEAR. Do you find yourself in this train of thought often, “What was that? A leg twitch? I AM more fatigued today, could this be a relapse? They do say that a feeling of impending doom is a symptom of relapse…I definitely feel that.”
I have noticed that for the past two weeks straight, this has been my thought process upon first awakening. And I tell myself it is legitimate, because it is, but that does not change the fact that, at times, this fear of the unknown and dreaded is running my life. And the spinning of these stories inside my head actually manifest into feeling worse physically.
For so many years I have received such shoddy treatment for my chronic pain conditions that I became guarded and defensive over my symptoms. I was resistant to the idea of my mental state having anything to do with what was going on in my body because I took this as an assault on my real pain. One too many doctors had dismissed what I was going through as “being in my head” and I took a subconscious vow to advocate for myself tooth and nail.
Now in the yoga world, the realm of the Mind-Body connection, I can see that to say our minds having something to do with how our bodies feel is not to negate the reality of these bodily feelings. We can be sick in the mind and the body, and I believe that you can’t have one be well without the other.
So I am switching it up. I have told my mind that I am not going to listen to these horror-story scenarios. As my body gives me signals of pain and fatigue, I am caring for these symptoms patiently without jumping ahead for what they could mean in the long-term. Rest, rest and more rest seems to be what works best for my body and mind right now. Meditation and conscious breathing slow down my worries and let me nurture myself with ease.
It is true that I am having more MS symptoms this Spring. I do feel that I teeter back and forth on the brink of a relapse. But it is empowering to know that while MS is very powerful, so too am I. I am lucky enough to be able to rest once or twice a day, so I will do that. I am not able to practice physical yoga right now, so I will envision myself in postures and meditate instead. When I feel worse, I crave the food that makes my symptoms flare, but I will resist you sugar and will seek out the foods that I know will build my system back up. I will get through this Spring and the upcoming hot months with as much grace as I can muster, grateful for each moment to care for and love myself.
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