Not the Alien Kind!
(Written in Bahrain)
Earlier this morning my sister reminded me of something that I sometimes forget about being way over here, half around the world from the USA – today is America’s Independence Day. The 4th of July.
But to make it even more personal my sister decided that it was her Independence Day too…The what, wherefores, and whys of her personal declaration I will leave to her, but it got me thinking.
I need to make a Declaration of Independence also. I need to really jump into life, despite my recent MS flare and the activity of all the paresthesia that surrounded it, I need to declare my purpose NOW and realize that even though life is never going to go back to where it once was, it can certainly go forward and be fulfilling.
So here it is – My Declaration of Independence.
I will go forth with the knowledge that I have a purpose to fulfill on this Earth. That I am gifted with all the unique talent and ability that I need in order to complete my Earthly mission. That I am unstoppable in my resolve, not by health or any perceived lack, and that my contributions to my family, students, and community will be complete and satisfying.
I declare that I accept that I must fight for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and that I will work actively to be a part of the positive voices who contribute to this cause. I will, in my own unique way become a face of MS who is not afraid to move, dance, crawl, scoot or fly forward.
It is my dream to be able to show others who face this disease that even through pain, and less ability, and sometimes massive inconvenience that we can still have happy, rewarding, active, daring, adventurous and truly luscious lives!
To me, the exciting part about declaring my independence from limitation…is that it gives me freedom, and because of that I am DREAMING BIG!
I have a SECRET plan, that only one person in the world right now knows about…it is HUGE and it will be loud..and as they say over here in the Middle East, inshallah..(God willing) it will be manifested. While I work on that, in the background, there are other things cooking that are soon to appear.
Everyone latches on to that saying, I HAVE MS BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE ME and it is a good, catchy slogan…but I like to think I have MS and I have it by the throat! I need that go get’um non-stop hup two three four forward march feeling, to at times, even propel myself out of bed. But here is the truth of it. No matter how hard it might be to get around or what paraphernalia I have to take with me…cane, medicine, needles, etc. It is worth every minute of being out there in the world (hint about my HUGE project!!!)
I am not shy about my MS. I know a lot of people who don’t want to tell others about their condition. And if it is work related then I understand that, but I have run across other MSers who somehow feel ashamed to say they have a chronic illness. When I need my cane, and that isn’t all the time, I use that opportunity to tell people why I have it. Of course, I am one of those people who gets into conversations with random folks at the grocery or the bus stop, but one person at a time gets to see a new face of MS.
And on the days when I look like everybody else, I still let students, and others who I interact with for a long period of time, know what I am dealing with. They might see a wobble in my walk, or a slur in my speech…They could notice the word that gets stuck in my head and the hands that tremble. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, I think it is better to just tell folks what it is.
And by the way, when I do say I have MS, I am always blown away by the number of people who are related to someone who has it. But that my friends, is a subject for another day, isn’t it?