Monthly Archives: April 2019

How A Stoic Life Helps

I have just realised that I have actually had a somewhat stoic attitude to life, before I understood what that actually meant. The name of the book I wrote not that long after I was diagnosed with MS, and that gives this Blog its name, in full is – “Mick, Jane and Me, Living Well with MS”.


Those words, Living Well with MS, give clues as to how I was trying to not just manage my new and changed life now that I had this somewhat limiting chronic illness. I wanted to live well, in as many different ways of wellness as I could manage. My health was certainly one of the wellness concerns, but there were other ways of wellness, feeling useful still, for instance.

I feel that the book I wrote, which is both a memoir of my new life, and a bit of a handbook for other people who have MS, and those around them who want to know how it can be to manage living with it.  This book is the one I wanted to read when I first got my diagnosis, but couldn’t find such a book, there were only medical books written by medical people, not people like me.

Writing helped me, it was one thing that I was still able to do, and do well, when some other things were nowhere near as easy to do. I went forward with my new life, thinking on things that would help me, setting up a peer support group in Gawler, and working as a volunteer, student, for a short time at the MS Society in South Australia, to finish my TAFE qualification (Certificate Four in Community Service Work).

Doing these things that were more focused on others, rather than myself, helped me to look for and find ways that would help both me and others in the same circumstances. I was not looking for praise, I was simply looking to do the best thing I could, the most ‘virtuous’ thing, in the Stoic way.

My previous understanding of what the word ‘stoic’ was, was something steadfast, and not anything ‘fancy’, but was instead plain, no frills, and uncomplaining. I didn’t know until quite recently where the word “Stoic” came from. I’ve been looking into philosophy a lot lately though, and have found out much more about the Stoics, who lived in Greece over two thousand years ago.

I like what I am learning, and am certainly thrilled with the book I received on my recent birthday – “How to be a Stoic Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living”, written by Massimo Pigliucci. This book is teaching me all I need to know about how to live a Stoic life, and I’m happy to see that my way of life seems to be heading in that direction naturally, so it is simple to continue following is this same good and stoic path!

Finding ways to live a virtuous life, a life where doing the good thing is my first choice, and only choice, if I can manage that, this is what it is all about. By ‘a good life’ I don’t mean chocolate and fine dining, I mean good as in kind, helpful, and so on – the greater good, not a personal good for me only.

Stoicism looks to virtues, and to living in keeping with those virtues. Having a mindful life is in keeping with Stoicism, and I am grateful to the MS Society, for the training they have had in Mindfulness, where I learned much about this. The two things, Stoicism and Mindfulness are very much in keeping with each other.

Making Mindful choices, so that options that won’t lead to good results, is very much a Stoic thing. Caring about and for others, feeling a commitment to self, family, friends, close community, greater community, and to the whole world, these are all things a Stoic believes in, and does their best to do, always, in every thing in their lives. This is certainly in keeping with how I try to live, and I will keep on fulfilling these aims for the rest of my life.


Having this framework feels like I am able to do good in the world, and am helping to make life better for others, as well as my own self ideals. Living Well with MS isn’t really that difficult for me, and I am glad of that for sure. I have help from medication, from family and friends, from the MS Society, from my own actions regarding what I eat and what I do.

If you have thoughts about my words here, please feel free to leave a comment, and begin a discussion perhaps!

Some Action Beginning NDIS

I now have the MS Society SA & NT getting involved in my NDIS plan and I’m expecting things will soon get going, finally. I have a plan, the MSSSA&NT have a copy of the plan, and an occupational therapist from there will be contacting me soon. I am beginning to believe it will actually happen, now.

The difference in the whole thing, once you finally have an organisation that you know and trust is immense. I’d been feeling a little bit negative about this whole thing, even though I have the money there if and when I need it. I just felt that I may never actually get my head around the whole thing, and may just end up wasting my time, and that money.

Now though, the MS people are on board with me, they know what they are doing, and I am confident money will be spent, and spent well. The OT will come to my home, see what I have here, and what I need. They will have other ideas on how to get the things outlined in my NDIS plan, and they know how to word things so they meet the requirements.

Even though we opted for a self-managed way to go, this partly assisted way seems like it’s a way that will work for us. I am now satisfied that it will go well. And it’s a burden off my shoulders that I hadn’t realised was even there, really.

So that is organised, what else is there in my MS journey? I’m going to have my flu vaccination before the end of the month – my GP knows I want my shot, and the doctors clinic are expecting to have the vaccination in a week or so, and I will be there very soon, when it all gets going.

close up of white syringe

Photo by on

I have had my appointment with my podiatrist today, and my feet are feeling good. My skin that was zapped with liquid nitrogen by my GP is going well – the scabs dried up and have almost all now fallen off. The main thing regarding my MS health is doing some more exercise. I know that, and it is up to me to get going with it. I have plans to get back into the Wii Fit exercises again, but at the moment, I’m in birthday feasting mode!

Next week though, that’s when I will be getting the Wii Fit going, regularly, every day would be good. I know that. When I am being more active, it becomes increasingly easy to be active, it’s a win/win thing, and I love them. I also love inactivity though, haha! The machine will be switched on, maybe as soon as Saturday.

hula hoop for blog

This week has been my birthday week. I am now 56 years old, going quite well, in regards to my health, but there are around two to three kilograms I’d love to say goodbye to, and there are some muscles I’d like to wake up, and get them going! I have hand weights, I have possible exercises I can do, I have the Wii Fit machine – I will get going with all of that!

imag0402If you don’t see me reporting back on how that is all going, within a week, please, please ask me about it. I think potentially guilting myself about it may be the kick in the bottom I need, Haha!