Don’t Look Back

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One thing I am learning about MS is that it is important to look forward and not back. There is nothing to look back on that will bring any good to one’s life. To look back is to regret, to wish we had what we have lost or to wish we had taken a different path. I made a mistake. I am making a mistake as you read this and I go on writing. I have now come within the event horizon, there is no turning back, I have to ride this out now. I looked back…

I had a job, I had money, I had a truck, I had friends, a life, a girlfriend. I had hobbies, talents, a routine. I spent a lot of time at a local coffee shop where I read a book one page at a time everyday and/or every night. “Coffee Shop Girl” and I clearly had a thing for one another. I helped her rearrange the shop, we sat and talked on her brakes, sometimes she was not on a brake, it was nice. Everyone there knew me, I would walk in and they would start making my drink because they knew what I wanted. It was nice…

My job had a lot of negatives but I had a sense of responsibility. I knew what I was doing and everyone knew that I knew what I was doing, I liked that. I was put in charge of a lot, I did store resets when CVS bought us (Longs). I worked at 13 different stores, a few of which were fighting over me. I made a decent amount of money for someone my age. I always had something to talk about, I could support myself, pay my own bills…It was nice.

I started dating a coworker and around that time the store slowly fell apart as our new manager was just that, new, and he did not know what he was doing. The “power” got to his head and he treated us horribly and lied left and right. So a bunch of us quit. From that day on my life has been downhill. Why oh why did I quit?

There is so much more that I had and lost but right now this is what is sticking out for what ever reason… My dating life was falling apart and I was stuck in a world of unemployment braked only by a few seasonal gigs or under the table jobs. It was at this time that I was diagnosed with MS. I had no job, unemployment ran out, so I had no money, I was loosing some of my friends, my relationship was falling apart, it was not very nice. To add to the symbolism of my good life ending the coffee shop that I spent everyday in had just closed down and the building has remained empty ever since to serve as a reminder of my past’s end.

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As my disease progressed I learned the true colors of my so called friends. I lost most of them. My girlfriend (at the time) and I were on and off for the next few years, it was horrible. I slowly lost the rest of my friends. I think I held them to too high of a standard… I miss having friends and I miss being in a relationship. I miss having money and responsibility… Disneyland… My own car… A working body…

Fighting all this alone is hard and hurtful. If I didn’t have my parents and my MS friends online I would not be where I am today but it’s still not the same as spending time with friends or a significant others. Sometimes I wish I could go back but that is just a symptom of regret,

I tell you, do not look back, only look forward.
“In the end everything will be OK, if it’s not OK then we haven’t reached the end”.

8 Responses to Don’t Look Back

  1. Anonymous says:

    Matt,

    REALLY — God allows us to go through things in our lives that we do not understand, but they change us in fundamental ways that are like putting the pieces together again. All this DOES have a purpose!

    You can have these things again — you just have to put every millimeter of your available energy into making that happen. Read the story of Ann Sawyer from the MS Recovery Diet book. Study success stories and emulate them. You are early on in this disease process. I believe that in all probability you can put it all back together again. Work causes good mental states, no matter what that work is. That is why you always strive to go forward.

    You are in my prayers!

  2. linda barry mac manus says:

    you are gifted Writer my friend… im very proud of u xx

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey Matt,
    What you wrote reflected my feelings even 6 months ago. Don't look back, only look forward. Everyone has regrets with past relationships and significant others but that is how we learn. We just have the added pleasure of dealing with MS, which most people our age do not have to deal with, think about or plan for. Your at a low point now but it WILL get better.

    Think about what you want to do when you start getting your energy back, what do you want to accomplish for yourself? What would make you happy (other then the obvious of not having MS:))? Lisa

  4. MS Cherokee says:

    My motto for years has been always forward, never back. Unfortunately, we have to go through a lot of BS and pain to come out the other end but we are stronger for it. When you are in the middle of it all, it hurts like hell and you wonder if it will ever get better – it will. Several years ago I almost made the mistake of looking back. Looking back on a relationship that was absolutely doomed from the beginning, one that almost cost me my life. This was all pre-MS. I know that I wouldn’t be alive today if I had stayed in that relationship. That was the lowest point of my life and then I started dating my husband who in an odd way could probably be credited with saving my life. 🙂 Keep fighting and fight like hell to make today and tomorrow better and leave the past where it belongs – in the past. It’s almost like being reborn in a way and it gets easier.

  5. Matt, you are a gifted writer, and you are completely correct. I get the not looking back, only forward, but I also get the mourning. Mourning the life we once had. You do need to mourn that old life, but your new life will begin once you have finished your mourning. The worst thing you can do is dwell too long on the old life. It WILL consume you. The most important thing now is to immerse yourself in new projects. I know that you have a thousand of them on the back burner Matt, and now is the time to start. I for one can't wait to read your book Matt. Also, I know money is scarce, but there is no reason you can't start planning your Doco trip around the world. Matt, I can guarantee that you can be personally credited for helping many people cope and accept their own situation with their disease, because I'm one of them, and if there is anything that I can do for you, ask. I owe you so so much.

  6. Matt Allen G says:

    Thanks everyone, I wish I had a good answer but for now I just have to think.

  7. sleekcartim says:

    You can look back, you just shouldnt live there. mourning your loss is natural, we're only human. Thinking positive is great, but sometimes it just isnt natural. You writing bout it & sharing it with REAL friends here, even tho sad, is a good sign. One thing ive learned losing my very close (or so i thought close) friends when they found out i was gay, that real friends stick by you, esp when you need them most. It's a tough reality when they go, but KNOW that they really werent good friends. I tell gay kids that all the time, that perspective does help. Depression is a cruel evil bitch, she sneaks up on you, whispers in ur ear, makes you weak & vulnerable, lets you think it was all your doing. When your aware of her presents, you can arm yourself by knowing where these bad feelings come from. It isnt you, it's her spell over you! better days matt, better days.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Matt,
    Always thinking of you. Thanks for your update. I always check in to see if you have written and how you are doing.

    Often, I have some words to share with you, but I have a conversation with you in my mind and it never sees this page!

    It is fascinating though, what MS is doing in our mind and nervous system. Imagine billions of pathways in our brains, getting interrupted constantly, in one way or another and how fatigued that makes us, before we even get out of bed in the morning. There is hard work going on "inside the body" that we can't see, except for the symptoms or weird feelings or struggles that we have.

    We are indeed a "finger print", every one has one, but every print is unique unto it's own. Sometimes, it is frustrating that no one understands our fingerprint, but just as frustrating when we don't understand our own either.

    Not looking back … sounds like that is where you need to be right now. I spent too many years, looking back, for some reason or another. It continued to bring me reminders of regrets, pain and sorrow. I finally conquered that part of me and I can actually lay there, go back in my mind and remember certain days or experiences that are really fun to remember. I think before we can stop looking back, is to be able to look back and grieve what we don't have anymore or won't have anymore and then gently close the door on what we cannot change.

    INSIGHT, I believe…counts, in other words looking inside for our answers (they are there somewhere) and not looking out for the answers because often, it is impossible to find…out there.

    I believe (as many do) we are all on a path for a reason but often that reason is hidden in a cloud , and we can't see it yet, but eventually we will be able to connect the dots.

    Anyway, sorry to be going on, but it felt good to express some of my thoughts to you, because I care about you and how you are doing.

    Mare

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