MetamorphosiS - ep. 4 - When We Begin To Change

What is change? Why are we so afraid of it? Why are we against it most of the times? What effect does it have on our lives that makes us despise it so much sometimes? Change is necessary. It pulls us out of our comfort zone. It puts us in unfamilliar situations that we have to learn to cope with. It makes us learn. It makes us live. It makes us grow.

A year ago, on this very day, I was waking up in a hospital room, with an infusion pole next to my bed. It was all so quiet and yet so noisy. My mind was noisy. All kinds of thoughts were rushing in and out of it like it were a busy train station. “Am I OK?”, “What will the outcome be?”, “What lies next?” and so on. Multiple Sclerosis wasn’t yet confirmed, so I was still in Limboland, banging my thoughts to the walls of my skull.

Then and there I realized that what I used to think about me was wrong. The idea I had about what I can or cannot do was distorted. I have been staying in the same box for many, many years. And I just stepped out. This was uncharted territory for me. And although it was scary and I laked control over the situation, I was intrigued. I found myself learning. Asking questions. Listening stories and comparing myself to them. I was curious about the new experiences that unfolded before my eyes.

I am not saying I had lost contact with the reality of things, but that I learned. I faced the fear of needles, I felt the fear of being alone, I felt the ups and downs of the corticosteroid treatment, I felt the world crumbling around me as the doctor told me the diagnosis. But either way I payed attention and learned. About MRI’s, about tests performed, about human relationships when facing illness, about kindness, about family, but most of all, about me. These issues were all unfolding before my eyes as people interacted in the hospital room, as tests were performed, as people cryed, as people went on with life. And I learned.

I learned that we grow through hardships. We grow during hard times. We fight for our right to live and to lead a better life. We fight for being healthy. Relationships keep us strong and going, and a simple touch, smile or kind word can do miracles, even if it comes from a complete stranger. In times of hardship, we are all the same. We all hope for the best and try our best.

I am an idealist. I have been one for my whole life and it’s not going to change anytime soon. It might seem unreal or unrealistic to have such an outlook on life, given the fact that I have MS.

But you know what? It IS real, and it is powerful, and more people should go for it. I am not saying go live in a fatasy world, where all things are pinkish, chubby cherrubs play the harp, and Prince Charming comes to rescue you (or a fair maiden for you guys out there! :)) ). That is delusional. I’m not talking about having the mind of a 3 year old.

I’m talking about facing adversity and looking fear in the eye. Up close. Don’t blink. Push forward. And just when you think you can go no longer, push even harder. You know what? That is called LIVING. Comfort zones are crippling your life. You can’t go on letting fear knock you out around the corner for the rest of your life, can you?

Fear is always followed by anger. Anger is followed by stress. Stress is followed by inflammation. Inflammation leads to anxiety. Anxiety leads to symptoms. And you end up in square one. Hospital room. More fear, more anger, and so on.

You get trapped in a viscious circle. You feel boxed in in your own life.

People are amazing creatures. We are equipped with all that we need to move forward in life. And yet we stand still. And yet we don’t take action and accept what is given to us. We have the power to create our own reality. Meaning we have the power to change the way we look upon life and the way we do things. Stand up for yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Be curious, plan your next steps and stick to your plan. Don’t try to make others responsible for your life and your well-being. Take charge and make things happen for yourself.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they are.
 (Lao Tzu)

Accept your current reality. Adapt to it. Let it challenge you. Let it change you. You’ll be surprised by the person you’ll become. Your change has not begun. My change has not begun. It has always been here. Except now we take the challenge. Now we grow.


P.S.: What changed since you’ve had MS? Are you a different person than you used to be? Share your answer in a comment on SMart Choice’s Facebook or Twitter page, @SMartChoiceMS. I’d love to hear your stories.

P.P.S.: Interested in the previous episodes? Click here to read.