‘See my shadow changing, Stretching up and over me. Soften this old armor. Hoping I can clear the way By stepping through my shadow, Coming out the other side. Step into the shadow. Forty-six & 2 are just ahead of me.’ TOOL

With gradual acceptance comes mounting frustration at the world around you

The world isn’t as comfortable as you aspire to be with your disease (s)

Your spouse won’t stop looking at you with sad eyes

Thinking of a time that will never exist for the both of you again

Your parents always worrying about you

Worrying about how you’ll survive after they’re gone

Your siblings will always simultaneously resent and pity you

All the attention is on you and all the prayers are about you

Your friends have grown so accustomed to your absences

That when you’re ready to be a part of the world again, they’ve forgotten your name

Your workplace doesn’t have a place for you anymore

Posting an ad for your job in hopes of finding someone less ‘sick’

Society doesn’t realize how badass you are

They can’t see past the fact that you need a cane in the first place

The reflection in the mirror looks back at you with weary eyes

It still sees you as broken and in need of saving

Nobody can see the heart that is slowly being stitched together

No one can see the magic that is your brain learning how to accept life as it is

One painstaking tiny miracle at a time

It’s only you

Only you can know how far you’ve come

Only you know about the reparations being made

Only you can know that the old you died in June of 2013

All that’s been left is a shell of a person lingering between two worlds

Not sure where to go

Full of pain and confusion

So with a touch of sadness that will always remain

You finally let that old you go

You don’t watch it get carried away by wind and dust

It’s not your responsibility any longer

You can walk away now

You don’t have to feel the burden of obligatory regret for what you couldn’t give the old you

You can finally fucking breathe

This is your time

Stitched up and with a brain still getting it’s shit together

You’re going to make this world yours

Like it was always meant to be

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A typical fight between a couple where one has MS

Person with MS (now referred to as ‘MS’ says to their partner who does not have MS (now referred to as N/A) ‘You seem unhappy. I’ve been noticing it for awhile. It appears to me that when I flare up, you get very stressed become unhappy.’

N/A: ‘What? Me? No. Sure I worry but I’m not unhappy. It’s work and (insert other things like kids, money, etc).

MS: ‘really? It seems to have really started after my diagnosis.’

N/A: (immediately defensive)

MS: ‘I mean, I know I gave you an out after my diagnosis (out a term many MSers are familiar with) and you didn’t take it. But that’s the thing with MS sometimes it gets worse. And I know this hasn’t been easy for you.’

N/A: ‘Exactly. I don’t want to leave. Why are you even bringing this up?!’

MS: (annoyance increasing) ‘Look, can’t we just talk about this? I’m concerned about how this affects you and in turn me.’

N/A: ‘I deal with it okay? You don’t have to worry’

MS: ‘But that’s the thing, you’re not dealing with ‘it’. You’re snappy (insert other words like ‘cranky, pissy, never home, drinking too much and etc)

N/A: ‘Am I supposed to be happy with it?!’

MS: ‘Thats the thing though. You acting so unhappy about my illness makes me feel worse about it. It makes me feel like a burden and I feel like that’s making you miserable. And how can I work on accepting my illness when you’re so miserable about it?’

End scene

Thats the thing

You know

The one at the end of the day

That keeps you up

Worrying over

Going to groups and learning about how to accept a crazy fucked up illness like MS

And not getting sucked under by the sadness and fear that comes along with it

But it is so hard to accept something so life changing

For the MSer

And for the people around said person

There’s such a strong part of me that does not want to accept having MS

I don’t want it to be a part of me, my life or my health for that matter

It seems self defeating to accept it

But it’s not

It’s the opposite

It’s like a coming to terms with MS

A mutual agreement if you will

MS says to you ‘I’m sticking around. I’m moody and temperamental and I like to take over every aspect of your life.’

You respond ‘I know you’re here to stay, and I understand the moodiness…but I can’t let you take over my entire life’

MS says ‘Why not? I have already.’

You answer ‘I’m taking parts of my life back from you. I’ll still have you in my life but you just can’t have it all. So let’s agree that you’ll stick around and I won’t fight you anymore. But you have to understand that you’re only one piece of my life. A big piece, yes. But I just can’t let you take over everything.’

MS ‘What’s the harm in that anyway?’

You say ‘Because if I let you, you’d own me and I would disappear.’

And the curtains start to close

And you and MS walk to different stage exits

The audience knows it’s not goodbye

But rather just a little breathing room

And there’s closure in that

————

The end