Lying around feeling sorry for myself has become a full-time job...too bad I'm not getting paid for it...I'd be RICH after these last several weeks of being homebound!
My most recent begrudging, self-centered theme in my life has been, "This is not the holiday I had planned"...sounds simple enough on paper, but the theme is actually quite complex in my mind. It not only incorporates a "holiday", which by anyone's standards, is "supposed" to be a happy and joyous time, but it also incorporates ME/MS and NOT having something as well as "planning". So, as I have tried to dissect this theme to it's true meaning, I've stumbled (quite literally at times!) across some interesting ideas I have harbored for most of my adult life.
First, let me say as a pseudo-Christian/Jew/Pagan, this time of year has ALWAYS been conflictual for me! I've never really known WHO'S team I should be playing for in the realm of "religion"! LOL I was raised in the "Be Dipped Or Be Damned" Church of Christ (Christian), but spent a few adult years dabbling in Judaism (Jewish), followed by an intensive religious studies program in Wicca (Pagan). For the past 10ish years, I have just considered myself "spiritual", and have adapted various things/concepts from all THREE religions into my spiritual practice. With that in mind, I've become a bench warmer for Jesus, Moses, and Diana during the winter holiday month! LOL I've made my own holidays based on all three religious teachings (which, if anyone really wants to boil the pot down to the meat, all THREE religions teach compassion, love, giving, and doing for others...different teachers, same words).
The winter holiday (call it Christmas/Hannukah/Solstice...whichever fits your fancy...I'll stick with "winter holiday" so as not to offend!) has always been a time of giving for me...I love to give to others...it warms my soul as I'm sure it does yours. I bake, I cook, I wrap presents, and I try to be centered in the Spirit of love and compassion for those around me. I delight in giving "secret" presents to someone in need and I relish in finding the exact thing my niece and nephew might want on their list...the "thing" I know my sister might flip a gasket over if her children DID receive it...like BUG AQUARIUMS, etc!!! LOL
Because of my MS relapse, I have been literally BOUND to my home and unable to shop, even at the grocery store for necessary baking goods...not that I am fit to stand in the kitchen long enough to DO the baking anyway...but I can't even get out to PURCHASE said items. My usual 50 bags of Grandma Goldie's Holiday Snack Mix, which I make every year for my coworkers, has been left undone...the recipe sits longingly on my counter top, just waiting to be fulfilled...but I can't. Presents I would have normally already purchased for friends remain in the stores as even online shopping has been difficult. I have been unable to DO the one thing this winter holiday that I have always done because MS has robbed my mobility...and this saddens me deeply...any attempts at "planning" have been thwarted as MS has made a very unpredictable situation in my life right now.
I have also been living in fear these past several weeks...because of the unpredictability of my MS and the basic "unknown", fear has replaced any sense of holiday spirit I might have otherwise felt. I have felt constricted and unable to "give" what little energy or emotion I have stored up inside myself...I have been on conservation mode for several weeks, looking inward instead of outward...trying to preserve myself. This alone, is not necessarily a "bad" thing...but during the winter holiday time, it DOES go against my basic instinct. And, I think it also contributes to my self-centeredness and contempt for my MS! You know the old saying, "What we see is what we get?"...I think it might be time to change my focus off of "me" and onto "thee" for a while...I've grown sick of "me", after all! LOL
I cannot deny my feelings of sadness at this time of year...my MS holiday "present" was not welcome. But what I CAN do is try to shift my focus and enjoy what I DO have...good friends, a wonderful job, my ability to still write/use my mind, and an abundance of "wealth" in my life so many do not have this holiday season. I even have electricity in Seattle...something STILL nearly 30,000 people do not have since the windstorm! Yes, I still have a very large tree down in my yard, but even this, too, shall pass.
And what I usually would be applying to others...compassion, giving, love, and doing...the teachings I center my spiritual beliefs on...I need to learn to apply to myself and my MS. Instead of self-loathing, I will try to apply compassion for myself. After all, I didn't choose this disease...it chose me, and it is not my "fault". I can continue to give and do for myself the things that bring me joy and cease feeling so CONSTRICTED...so confined within my MS. This means reaching out to others and ALLOWING them to assist me and also DOING the things I need to do to keep the health I have (like not be so "bitchy" with Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named when she suggests things to "help"! LOL).
And, I can also LOVE myself for who I am...I don't have to embrace or "love" my MS, but it is a very big reality of my life right now...one, I am sure at some point, I will feel less discomfort with. I can love that part of me, when feeling well, that DOES interact with the world and the people around me with compassion and caring...I can love the part of me that WANTS to feel joyous during this holiday season.
It's funny how just writing this down has already improved my "mood"...and now, I will go lie back down in an attempt to improve my health! Here's wishing you ALL a happy holiday season...whatever your beliefs, your religion, or your values...