Friday, February 24, 2006

The Inward Journey Begins

So here's the issue:

2 years ago, I was up early every morning, running 3-5 miles before breakfast. I was training for marathon runs. A year after, I was training in the Dojo. I wanted to do some fighting. In university I was in the top of all my classes, somewhere between 1st and 5th, always in the top 5. My life goals, my persuits, my hobbies, indeed my life in general followed one steadfast principle: Push the limits, raise the bar, work hard or amount to nothing. Be more than average, fight for a top spot.

First let's follow that logic through. If I got there what next? 1st place or nothing else... If I got there where form there? You can't maintain that forever. Ok. Logic busted.

Second. Look at the hand that was delt me. Now I get up every morning, the first thing I do is check to see how much better I've gotten. How much is the disease going to slow me down for today. You see my old life-style logic of pushing the limits is now dangerous to me. I have to set more reasonable goals and not push the limits. And those goals have to change from day to day. And when I don't accomplish my list of things to do, I can't beat myself over the head with it. That's the big hurdle. I want my mind to allow for these lapses in ability, in accomplishment. I was hard on myself before even for someone with out a disease that responds to stress. Now I'm really fucked. This disease doens't get better, it only gets worse, in the slow progressional sense. All I can do is delay it for a while and I'm not so good at that either.

Twice now I've seen what happens when I push the limits. The problem is this: I don't know where those limits are. I don't know how much I can do reasonably and survive.

I was an athlete, I was an academic, I was I was I was... I can't drive the thought out of my head that everything is changed. I'm still all of those things but now I'm also an MS patient. That changes everything. I could still fight, but only when I am able. I can still work, but only when I am able. And I can never train my body or my mind like I used to. Time to take a back seat. The prime of my physical life has passed dramatically and that is really getting me down. Most people do that gracefully, mine fell with a crash... loss of eye sight, loss of balance, loss of vision, loss of muscle... finally... loss of fitness.

I used to run 5 miles before school. Now, I'm winded running up the stairs. I used to do the splits, now I can't bend over 90 degrees with my toes pointed. I'm putting on too much weight, non of my clothes fit. I have no energy to sustain even a boring day. What am I?

I need to set a reasonable goal of who I am. That starts with a vision. The problem is, the vision I have of myself, the future me, the past me, the me I want to be, they are all the same person. Opposed by the me I am now. And what's worse is I know the me now can't sustain himself. Not for long at least. Everything is slippery and I'm losing my gripo on a lot of it.

I'm at a major life crisis and everything has to change. Now! I refuse to go any farther down that road I'm on. But the problem is, when I get a pain in my back like I have right now, do I ly down or go for a walk? You see, I don't know how to deal with this disease yet. It's going to take a lot longer than I thought. What a brave face I put on. A really brave face. Folks, I'm terrified, I'm hurt, I'm lonely, I'm gone. I'm not here half the time becuase it's too scary being here. What this disease does to ME on a daily basis is almost too much to handle. I wish I was some other MS patient. You know, the one that does everything like it doesn't bother them. They have mild symptoms and full recoveries. But... that isn't me.

I'm going to get through Lughnasa then re-evaluate what my mission is. It's obvoius this task will be relentless but it has to be done. What's left is only death. And I'm not laying down stakes like that for anybody. So now, I think it's time for a nap. I'll continue this another time.


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

You've come along way since diagnosis, though I know you have a long way yet to go. Inward and outward your journey will take you but you will find balance. I know you will. I want to help you find that balance. I think you will achieve a lot in this's just the path has now changed. You "were" a lot of things, yes, but you still "are". And one of the things you still are is Doug, and that's enough for me. xoxo


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