It is hard to escape the trap that we are somehow able to completely control our destiny. Time and again I catch myself slipping into the idea that I can control my disease or that I got ill because of something I did. This is just not how the world works. All we can really control is how we handle the hand we are dealt.
I spent a long time trying to figure out why I got MS. Then I spent some time deciding how I was going to stay well. I have also spent a great deal of time contemplating my future.
When I started this blog I posed several essential questions. One of them was whether diet and exercise can improve ones prognosis. I was quick to adopt the idea that a person can hold MS at bay with diet and exercise. I still believe that both these things are important to ones overall well-being. A healthier body can better deal with trauma and illness but it also has begun to dawn on me that diet and exercise alone are no guarantee of health. I realize that one cannot entirely predict or control the course of the MonSter.
Strangely, I am not disturbed by these realizations. I was unable to control my diagnosis and I am unable to control everything about my future. That’s ok with me now. There are many things I can control.
I can control how much I exercise. I can control what I choose to do and not do. I can control my diet. Most importantly, I can control my mind. I can control how I deal with bumps in the road. I can spend a lot of time worrying about the future or my next possible or probable relapse, or I can embrace my present where I am finding a way to juggle my responsibilities. I think it’s important that I do the things I want and need to do now when and while I can.
I think it is possible that I could be one of the lucky ones, one of those people who suffer little at the hands of their disease but I also realize that the statistics are against me. There are very few people with lesions who truly never have another relapse but they do exist. I always used to believe that nothing like this would ever happen to me but it did.
On the other hand, if I was unlucky enough to be one of the only people I know who got this diagnosis, I also might fit into another unlikely percentage and never really deteriorate as a result of my disease. The good news for my own mental state is that I can accept my fate either way. This does not mean that I am not going to keep doing yoga, eating right and minimizing stress. It means that I realize that even by doing these things I may not be ensuring a symptom-free future. I accept that control is indeed an illusion but that is ok.
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