Before Lockdown 1, 2.0 or 3, before I had all this time to think about life, I hadn’t realised how much of myself I have lost since being diagnosed with MS. I’m not even sure how it happened. I suppose I have just been focused, understandably, on dealing with the diagnosis, what this disease means for my future, the worry, the medication game, dealing with changes I am having to make to how I live my life etc etc. After all the dread, the battling and the panic, there isn’t much energy left for anything else.
But during the current lockdown, having all this time to be with myself and having reduced distractions AGAIN, I have felt a bit lost. For those of you following my Instagram account, you may have noticed that my #mondaymotivation posts have been horrendously lacking in motivation, but I can’t help it. I have really had to push myself to get out of bed. I have a list of jobs and a list of fun things I could be doing but I have no inclination to do any of them. I am the classic ‘lockdown underachiever’ as the Internet is describing it. 🙂
The thing I do keep making myself do is go out into the garden, even if it is only for half an hour. It is physical and I am getting some fresh air, and some days that is enough to feel content with.
When I go out, I have started taking my Ipod with me (so retro!), mainly to cover the neighbour’s dogs barking but that’s another story. I found myself listening to all the old albums I had on repeat whilst I was at college, before all the MS debacle happened. I suddenly found myself transported back to 18 year old me, footloose and fancy free, without a care in the world. I also gardened with the energy of an 18 year old!!
I felt like someone had turned on the light in a forgotten spare room and breathed life back into it. I had no idea that by being so focused on this awful illness that I had lost touch with something that is really important to me: music. It was like someone had hit me in the face with a frying pan. Hearing Paramore’s Hayley sing ‘I’m in the business of misery, let’s take it from the top…’ was like the colour had come back to my grey skies.
The next day, my neighbours’ were treated to a word perfect rendition of My Chemical Romance’s back catalogue while I trimmed back some hedges. The following day, Elliot Minor made their much awaited return and I haven’t looked back since. I am gutted that it has taken me so long to realise the parts of me that I had lost by being diagnosed but I am making a promise to myself to refocus my thinking and turn back to the things that give me so much joy. Especially in these hard times. People talk about MS sufferers collectively as ‘warriors’, maybe I should be focusing the fight elsewhere now. Not just surviving, but fighting to fill my life with love and hope. Wait a minute while I get my Dangers Days superhero outfit (please message me if anyone gets that reference!!).
I welcome back ‘old me’, and her lack of worry about the future, and her belief that everything would work out for the best in the end.
She is coming back to me, and it feels amazing.