The Disassociation of My Body

PhotobucketSince I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis my body has experienced many ups and downs and of course this results in ups and downs with one’s psychological well-being. However, I have noticed lately with this second “relapse” or “flareup” or whatever you want to call it, that I have felt a certain disassociation with my body as if who I am as an individual has nothing to do with my physical body, like my body is simply a vessel for my mind or spirit, however you choose to look at it.

What is it that I mean you ask? Let me put it this way, when people have been asking how I am doing in the last few days, I’ve noticed that I talk about my body and its defects the way I would talk about my old truck and its defects, like my body is just an old car that needs to be replaced, a piece of machinery that is malfunctioning that I have to deal with til I can afford to replace it…  For example, when asked how I am doing, I don’t say “I am having trouble with my left hand” but instead I word it like “My left hand is shutting down, it’s pretty much useless at the moment”. Maybe it’s just me who sees a difference in that wording and attitude, but that’s what’s important, the simple fact that I feel disassociated with my body.

 I’m not sure what to make of this, on one hand it seems like this mentality could be used to my benefit to help protect my mental and emotional stability but on the other hand this mentality can be dangerous because in reality THIS IS MY BODY and I only get one body in this lifetime so I need to do everything I can to maintain this “old truck” and keep it running as long as possible, though I may hate this piece of junk “truck” it’s what I have to work with…

I don’t know why I feel so disassociated with my body lately and I don’t know what to make of these feelings, I just know that whether or not I ever feel “whole” again I have to maintain this body, this vessel, because it’s the only thing linking me as an individual to the physical world we know as life.

19 Responses to The Disassociation of My Body

  1. Janice says:

    Matt, Somehow I stumbled upon your blog and really enjoy it- if that is the correct term. I am so sorry that you have been diagnosed with MS. My daughter was diagnosed in March 2009 and it has been a roller coaster ride for us. I have done a ton of internet searches looking for the 'cure' for her. I hope you can find a reason for your immune response and also find a treatment plan that works for you. I also started a blog, with intent of documenting her stem cell therapy. I try to blog things that interest me and treatments that she recieves. I hope you recover fully from this relapse. Best of luck to you. Melinda

  2. Matt Allen G says:

    Hi! Don't be sorry, despite my lack of religious beliefs I do believe everything happens for a reason and though I have endured much suffering through my MS I know that I have helped a few people here and there, even if it wasn't much help, even if it was just bringing a simple smile to their face, or bringing them a small piece of mind, or a small bit of knowledge, that is enough to motivate me to keep going, to keep TRYING to help people.

    How old is your daughter If you don't mind me asking? I looked over your blog, looks good! I will definitely be following it! I'm glad to hear your daughter has been free of flareups for so long! I wish her the best of luck! Keep in touch!


  3. Mai Khac says:

    hey, if you're feeling so detached, may I borrow your body for a while? it'd be cool to be able to walk again. hehehe

    get well soon Matt and big success with your photography career


  4. Matt Allen G says:

    Ha ha, I never meant to say that I didn't appreciate my body, looking back over the progress I've made I definitely have developed a much deeper appreciation for my body even right now as we speak as my hand malfunctions and the nerves in my legs go crazy.

    I only meant to express a surreal feeling that I have been experiencing, when my doctor asked me how I was doing the other day I told her that I couldn't complain and I truly do feel that way because I know there are so many other people who have it way worse than me!

    Not too long ago I could barely get out of bed and into my wheelchair and now I can go and get the mail on my own, so believe me, though I feel detached from my physical body I still appreciate it, everything about it! Thank you for your wishes!

  5. Janice says:

    Hi Matt, Janice is 26 years old. She was 24 when she was diagnosed with MS. I love your positive attitude. Keep it up. I do believe attitude has much to do with our health and helping others keeps us in focus. I have read 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. It helps me refocus when feeling down. You sound like you have so much to give, even when having your own issues. Good for you.

  6. Soph says:

    Hi Matt, I've found your blog through some website or forum and had a good look around over the past few days – I think you're very brave and doing a brilliant job at dealing with this. I am 20 years old too (female though πŸ˜‰ ) and I was diagnosed with MS only a week ago, though I have been suffering from many symptoms since August and have had A Very Bad Feeling about my doctors' opinions ("stress-related" etc.) for a while now. I can relate to much of what you're describing and I wish you the best of luck…we'll get to live decent lives somehow, I'm sure of it. :`)

    (I only just created an account here btw; I hope it's okay if I'm following your blog. It's good to know I'm not alone in this.)

  7. Matt Allen G says:

    @ Janice – I may have a lot to give but I think a lot of that has to do with a major flaw of mine, I always seem to put the well-being of another before my own, I'm not very good at taking care of myself I guess LOL…

    @ Soph – Wow your symptoms started in August??? That's exactly when mine started! How weird! I'm glad you found my blog, I hope it's been of some help, I have been falling quite behind lately on my writing, I've been so busy!

    I'm also glad you created an account, the more followers the better! I want to create a network of FRIENDS here not just a network of people trading facts.

    Are you located in Southern California??? I've been DYING to meet someone in person with MS who is about my age just to sit down and talk with, None of my friends REALLY understand what I'm going through and talking to people online helps a lot but I would REALLY like to meet someone in person and make an MS friend I can hang out with every once in a while LOL.

    If not I guess there is always Skype lol…

  8. Matt Allen G says:

    Oh wait, I'm guessing Germany?

  9. Soph says:

    Hi πŸ™‚ Yup, I'm from Germany, sorry – it sucks not to be able to really talk to other young MS patients, doesn't it? I mean, my friends (RL and online) have been very supportive, but it's obvious that they can only guess at what this must be like for me.

    My symptoms started very suddenly on an evening in August (while I was seeing a play in a theatre in England – what a nightmare). Since I have been under a lot of stress, my doctors didn't believe that I was seriously ill though and it took a while until I got my diagnosis. :/

    (The photos on your blog are beautiful, btw. :))

  10. Matt Allen G says:

    Mine came out of nowhere as well! On August first to be exact, I was in the shower and I noticed my foot was numb to the scolding hot water, within a week the right side of my body was numb from my foot to my shoulder! I was quickly diagnosed by a spinal tap.

    Also, though my friends are supportive** I have realized there is a difference between support and understanding.

    And thank you for the compliments on the pictures, I am trying to get my career as a photographer going at the moment :^b

  11. Matt Allen G says:

  12. Soph says:

    That's so cool! I hope our mutual friend MS (-.-) doesn't have too much of an influence on your work. I'll check out your website when I have a bit more time and a bit less of a headache! πŸ˜‰

    I think I might actually use my account for a bit of blogging, though I think I'm a bit more of a private person than you are. This "small network" you speak of sounds like a good idea! πŸ™‚

  13. Britney says:

    We should create a website of some sort for people with MS who are under 25. I've always felt like all the websites and sources were targeted towards older people (no offense). After I was diagnosed, I felt SO lost in everything. Granted, that was over ten years ago and I was most likely one of the few preteen with MS. There has been a lot of progress made since but still, there are no websites specifically for teens/young adults with MS. The MS society used to send packages of information to my house but I never felt like any of it applied to me even though I have MS, it was all so impersonal to me. I always thought it would be nice to have a source, somewhere to go somewhere and have support from others in similar situations.

  14. Matt Allen G says:

    Hmmm… We really should, I am not sure how to go about setting that up but honestly I think that would do a lot of good for people, A LOT. I will have to look into that more!

  15. Britney says:

    I have a little web experience… well the one site I did crashed but I think I could do one now, maybe. I always wished there was an MS site easier to understand I've always like this one for Parkinson's

  16. Matt Allen G says:

    I LOVE Michael J Fox! Well, if you seriously want to get something going I am definitely in, I can offer my photography/filming and basic photoshopping skills along with what ever writing and networking or what ever we possibly could need lol I'll do what ever! Lets make it fun and exciting because I agree, I don't feel like there is anything aimed towards us youngsters lol!

  17. Matt Allen G says:

    We just need to get a list of what we want and what we need to make those "wants" happen.

  18. Steph says:

    Hey all! I do not fit in the "under 25" crowd since I am 34 but I do enjoy this blog! Keep up the good work guys. I was dx 2 yrs ago.

  19. Matt Allen G says:

    Haha well hey, this blog is meant for EVERYONE!:^b

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