I just noted a headline stating that the oldest person in the U.S. died today. This is actually a tangential way of getting to my point. Yahoo! may have tips on longevity but I think one of the biggest indicators lies in the mind. One has to want to live and find reason for living in order to reach a ripe old age. I imagine this woman must have had that.
I always imagined I would live to be pretty old but at a certain point it occured to me that maybe that is not even what I want. My desire to live hinges on a number of outside factors. If I am going to live long, I want to live in a world that is still worth living in. I want a viable environment without too much pollution, disease, scarcity and global warming. I need people I love around me and I need reasons and purpose for living. A few weeks ago I made a dramatic post about being "cured" of my mental ailments. That might be a stretch. Every day is a challenge. I meet some better than others and overall I now know better how to deal with my angst.
Living! is still an eternal climb. Some days it is easy. I can often see many reasons to go on trying and to seek happiness but I also must continually refocus my mind in order to keep myself from dwelling in dark places.
One of the things I notice most about life since MS is that I am easily overwhelmed. Little tasks seem big. I am in continual fear of overcommitting. I still often psyche myself up for things by planning my next nap. My anxiety is often directly tied to the feeling that I can't take care of everything or to a sort of mental paralysis that keeps me from even starting. Sometimes the week stretches before me and it is hard to imagine how I will make it both physically and mentally. Mole hills are now mountians and while I recognize this, it is often hard to reframe my thinking.
There is also of course the guilt. It has dulled to a simmer but still I feel it. Part of the guilt comes from being overwhelmed. I am angry at myself for feeling that way. There have been so many times this year where I have pushed through discomfort and illness in order to take care of things and yet the thought of doing so still overwhelms me. I have three weeks before I leave town again and only a few things outside work to take care of and yet I still doubt my ability to take care of things. I see clearly what a lovely life I have and yet I am still operating under notions of scarcity about time and resources.
Even with the tools at my disposal, living with enthusiasm remains an eternal climb. I think that little of this has to do with MS and most of it is quite normal but I do find I sometimes envy people who spend more time acting and less time thinking about it. I even find that at times I envy those who can just lose themselves in other things with little room for thought at all about their relative happiness or unhappiness. My "cure" lies only in my own mind and my own ability to control or not control it on any given day. On the bright side, today is ok.
TISCH MS -- 18th Annual MS Patient Symposium
3 days ago