Do you have a point to your life? Do you think a person should have a point to their life? By having a point to your life, I mean, is there something that you want to do, or that you actually already do, that gives your life meaning, gives you a way to spend your time, or perhaps it’s something that makes you feel worthwhile.
When you go from being a person who has a job, is capable of doing anything and everything they like to do, to a person who may have had to leave their job, and is far less capable than they were previously. What do you do then? How do you spend your time, how do you look at your life, when that happens to you?
One of the things about having a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis that doesn’t get mentioned enough, is that it can lead to depression. It won’t definitely cause depression, but it’s important to know that it’s a possibility. Whether the cause is physical, or mental is irrelevant, the important thing is to get help with it as soon as you can.
I’m not able to dig in the garden or carry heavy objects, but I can still potter around the garden, taking cuttings, watering, and so on. The flowers growing around our garden bring me joy – some of these plants are ones I planted, some my husband, but the whole family enjoys them!
Being stuck at home unable to do much can certainly be a downer. Many of your friends may fade away, and your family will probably not understand why you are suddenly not able to join in the way you always have. These things add up and you begin to feel worthless. That’s why having something that’s important to you, a point to your life, is such a good thing to have. This will be the thing that makes you smile, or that keeps you going, even when things seem difficult. It’s the thing that will give you the courage, the oomph, to keep on going through the bad times and onward to better things.
My own ‘point’ in life would be my writing. Family is important, of course, and I love my family and I’m grateful for all they do for me, and for their love. But writing is ‘my thing’ – the thing that makes me special, and the thing that brings me a special kind of joy. When someone reads my words, and they have a good effect on them, and they tell me about it, that’s makes me tingle with happiness.
Other people may have very different things that they can do that keeps them going. Some are able to walk, or run, or ride horses, and they love these things. It’s not my thing, but I’m glad they love it. Other people are still able to do crafts, or cook. Some people have been able to shift their work around and are able to continue with their job that they love. These are all excellent ways to keep depression at bay!
Exercise is good for a number of reasons – the exercise gets good chemicals happening in your body, building up your muscles can help prevent trips and falls and it can help to prevent weight gain if you are no longer able to do as much as you could before. Being available to talk with others, giving them advice can be a great way to feel needed in life too. There are many Peer Support groups for people with MS in Australia and overseas. If you get in contact with your closest MS Society, they should be able to assist with getting you involved if you wish.
I know when I first connected up with others living with MS, I was so happy to finally have people to talk to who knew exactly what I was now living with. There are also many online groups for people with MS – look around and join up with the ones you like the look of. Some deal with particular places, some with a particular treatment. All are worth checking out if you’re looking for help from people who understand.
Above all, try to remember you are still the person you’ve always been, even if you may move a little slower!