“We’re one of you.”
“And you’re one of us.”
A small bit of Firesign Theater. Some few elite of you might recognise the passage.
Maybe it only happens in movies, but it seems that when someone goes through some sort of transformative experience – say, like, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – they reassure those around them who are worried about what to expect, they say, “I’m still me. I’m the same person I’ve always been.” I used to think it was not only possible to be the same person, but that I should be the same person, that being the same person, just with MS, was what I was supposed to aspire to. After all these years of struggling to be the same person – same attitudes, same outlooks, same spirituality – I think I have come to the conclusion that not only am I not the same person, but that, for me at least, it is foolish to think I could be. That is what a transformative experience is. An experience that transforms a person. It seems that to compare myself now against myself ten years ago is destructive. Or at least not productive.
My perspectives have changed. My outlook on life itself has changed. My image of myself as a being has changed. There are things that have not changed, that I hope will never change. I seem to still have a sense of humor. I am still a spiritual person. I was never an athlete or even athletic. But there are things that have changed as a result of MS. I loved walking and occasionally running, especially in the woods. I loved working out in the woods with a chainsaw and axe, caring for my tiny bit of the planet. I loved hopping in the car on a sunny early saturday and finding a place I’d never been to, to wander with my camera and explore. There can be no denying that there are things I’ve lost, things that I used to define myself, at least partly, by.
So in some ways, I don’t feel like the same person I was before MS. Maybe it’s only external things that have changed. But there are inner attitudes and expectations about life that have changed. I’ve finally started working with a therapist, exploring these changes. And ultimately sorting out who I am now. Or how to be who I am. How to find new ways to reincorporate those parts of me that I feel like I’ve lost. If possible.
Anyway, I think this little rambling blog will take a hiatus – not that I have written much in the past year or more – until I discover whether or not I have something to say. I thank you for your support, and hopefully we’ll reconnect in the future.