Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Suck

A week ago, a horrifying motor vehicle accident occurred in northern New Brunswick. It claimed the lives of 7 members of a boys basketball team and the wife of the coach and driver of the van. 8 lives gone in the blink of a second. For the past week, that small community has been mourning their loss. Actually, the entire country, and even internationally, people have felt the pain of Bathurst's loss.

There was a mass wake followed by a mass funeral in a hockey arena, as the churches couldn't accommodate the number of people who would be in attendance. The accident (and the aftermath) has been the lead story in the news all week long, and some footage was shown of different people eulogizing the young men. One statement about one of the kids really struck home for me. In describing the type of person he had been, the speaker said the kid was of the opinion that "If you suck, life does, too".

Those 6 words precisely sum up The Secret, cognitive behaviour therapy, and Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.

So don't suck.

A simple thing to say, and if you say it out loud, it's actually quite amusing. But how do you "not suck"? Hmmm. Therein lies the difficulty. Some people seem to have a natural tendency to be positive about anything. And some have a tendency to be negative. I know a guy who, if he had won the lottery, would have complained about the gas money it would cost him to go pick up his millions.

Since I've been writing this blog, I have discovered a lot of other MSers who are also blogging. And some of those blogs can be downright depressing to read. But one prompted me to write this post. Linda, at Brain Cheese, wrote a post subtitled Should I Feel Bad about Feeling Good? Go read it. I'll wait for you to come back.......

Hit the nail on the head, for me. I look "mahvelous", have no disability, and feel pretty damn good. There are a few little annoyances, but others can't see or hear them. I am certainly not the poster child for this disease. Maybe I could be the poster child for the "best case scenario" of MS. I sometimes feel a little guilty about doing so well when others are deteriorating around me. I saw a man recently who is deteriorating at an alarming rate. He saw me and how well I'm doing and he said "There's hope for me yet". I'm not a neurologist but I have little hope for this man getting back anything he's lost. I didn't say that of course, just held his hand and said there's always hope. But I felt really guilty.

After reading Linda's post I realized I have nothing to feel guilty about. I don't appear sick and have few symptoms, but having MS is always at the back of my mind. Every time I drop something, my keys for example, I'm analyzing why. Did I just not have a good enough grip on them, did I have something else in my hand, or am I having another attack? Every time I have a "brain fart" I wonder if it's just normal human forgetting or is the MS eating my brain?

I could dwell on the facts of this disease and wonder every day if this might be the day I lose my sight, or my legs, or control of my bladder. But living like that sucks. People who live like that drain the energy out of those around them.

Each day is another chance to show someone that you can have a good life even with MS. And that doesn't suck. Neither do I.





OK,'re it! I just discovered your blog via my "stats" analysis. You ARE going to be added to my growing list of blog links, like it or not!

Great blog here and I love your quotes on your side bar!

Linda D. in Seattle/BrainCheese

Diane J Standiford said...

You are so busted. Hey, what's with all this feeling bad stuff? Make hay while the sun shines. Some people with MS will go through life barely noticing it. Some NEVER have a symptom! Don't worry. Be happy. (sung to the tune of "Don't Worry, Be Happy")
"Monkey brain?" Okkkay.
Diane S. in Seattle

Shauna said...

I'm it! I always wanted to be it!
Diane, may I add you to my blog list as well?
My hunk o' hugs, the boyfriend, used the term monkey brain when I was describing my racing mind and inability to focus on one thing at a time. It's quite appropriate when I'm terribly excited about learning something new.


Anonymous said...

Allow me to officially welcome you to the MSers Blog Club. WELCOME!!

Love your blog and your style. You will find most of us post something every few days, some post every day and then there are others who post only occasionally.

So come on over and browse around, mention us to your friends. I've put you on my blogroll too, so between myself, Ms Cheese and countless others who will surf by, you will see rise in readership.

Take care,

Bubbie said...

HI There! Came via Ms.Cheese blogroll.
It's great that you can ride. I used to worry that people would think I was faking or malingering when one day I'd be leaning on a cane dragging a leg about and on another be able to throw a damned good football pass to my son.
What a relief to not give a damn what others think. Just be thankful for all we can do and be when we can.

Shauna said...

Thanks, one and all, for the warm welcomes....I am looking forward to getting to know you, getting to know all about you (are you singing along, yet) and sharing our stories.


Hey Shauna, I'm so glad that you've been 'found out' in the MS blogosphere. Pull up a chair and sit a spell.