Looking at the calendar yesterday, I was struck by the date. Seventh September generally has no real significance for me, other than the fact that it was on this day, 11 years ago, that I stumbled out of the gym for, what turned out to be, the last time for many years. I recall so vividly the impossible clash between my failing body and my pumped up, determined mind on that day. I could barely see, barely walk and barely stand, and yet there I was fighting against all of this with every ounce of will in my power. I was to be diagnosed with MS 2 days later. And it is for this reason that my traumatic trip to the gym that day sits so poignantly in my memory; my days as a gym bunny were numbered. All subsequent workouts continue to seem somewhat pathetic when I allow myself the comparison.
So, if it was 11 years since that day at the gym, it must be getting very close to my 11th anniversary with MS. Tomorrow marks this day, and until yesterday I had clean forgot about my looming anniversary. Not that it is an anniversary that particularly needs celebrating, it’s just that I simply don’t forget dates, ever. This will be the first time since my diagnosis that I haven’t had a countdown running through my head. Is that a sign of acceptance? Forgiveness at my body for what it puts me through? Or is it simply that I’ve been too busy to find space in my scrambled brain for this not-so-important date? Either way, I nearly forgot it, nearly.
You may recall that in previous posts I have written about my relationship with my MS as though it were a marriage. Well, in a marriage, nearly forgetting an anniversary is a pretty clear sign that things aren’t going too well. This year I should be celebrating with steel – a symbol of the strong bond that we share, but this so-called bond feels anything but strong. My MS has let me down in too many ways to recall over the past 12 years (the first turbulent year was spent courting). But it is specifically in the past 2 years that my MS has tried its darndest to drag me down. Paralysis, spasms and depression are the only gifts my MS has given me of late. Honestly, what is there to give in return?
Actually, there is something to be given in return. A determined mindset. A clearer focus on the positives in life. A refusal to cave in to its demands. And, above all, to be a person that never gives up.
Well, bad news MS. I am that person.
Happy Anniversary xx