For the last few years or so I have felt like I was going through a bit of an identity crisis. I was not sure how or where I fit into this world and because I could not see my purpose in life? Nothing I did really felt fulfilling. My depression was already destroying my motivation to really do anything so this was just making it that much more difficult to get anything done. Although, now that I think about it, you could argue that the whole “identity crisis” thing was just the result of my depression but I really do feel like it was a separate issue for me. You see, I have never known “what I wanted to be” when I “grew up”. Nothing ever really caught my interest, I never saw something and thought, “THAT, that is what I am meant to do”. But as if that was not bad enough, in comes MS. Any time somone is diagnosed with a chronic disease like MS they are sure to reach a point where they begin to wonder where they fit in. They may stop being able to do some of the things they have always been able to do or eventually realize that they will no longer be capable of doing something they always wanted to. So you can see why I have felt the way I have…
But I have been working on trying to figure out what I am going to in life for a while now. Yes, MS sucks, I am nowhere near as independent as I used to be. Simple tasks have become more and more difficult over the years. It was really starting to seem like I would not be able to do anything with my life! Every suggestion I heard I would shoot down… “no, I can’t do that”. It was getting old, really old. So instead of thinking about all the things I could not do I have been trying to think about what I can do. What opportunities has this disease given me? There is always an opportunity to do something in any given situation. I can’t just throw my arms up and say that I can’t do anything right? That would be like me giving up and letting MS win and I am not just talking about a career here, I am also talking about hobbies. What can I do that will make me “ME“?
I finally feel like I have enough ideas to work with and come 2017 I really want to turn my life around. 2016 sucked for so many reasons but at the same time it is the year that I slowly came to realize where I fit in in this world, what my role is in life and what I need to do to be happy and not just content (not that I have been content, just that I have a better goal than mediocracy). I am developing new goals that I want to strive for. It’s definitely not going to be easy but nothing worth fighting for ever is right? For the first time I am actually looking forward to the future. I am really disappointed in myself that it took me the loss of so much to realize what I want but I suppose it all made me who I am. Maybe who I WAS was incapable of wanting the thing I want today? I don’t know but what does it matter? I can’t change the past.
Granted, even though I am starting to realize what my role in this life may be and what it is that I want, I know I will still have those days… Depression is part of MS (for so many people that is) and something I have almost always lived with but it is definitely much better. I am actually almost off my antidepressants because for a while now I have felt like I didn’t need them. I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling horribly depressed for no reason. I do get depressed over my life situation but that is normal; these pills are not meant to make you happy or keep you from ever feeling sad, they are meant to balance you out so you feel more “normal” and part of being “normal” is feeling a little sad from time to time. I obviously talked to my doctor(s) about this because many people with things like depression or bipolar disorder stop their meds because they “feel” fine even though they feel fine because of the medication. So getting off my meds has been a slow and meticulous process as it should be.
My point is this; I have new health goals in my life. I know what I want to achieve to feel “healthy” and because I have made sure that my expectations in life are more realistic now, I really feel that with hard work I can achieve them and I want to help other people achieve theirs. I am finally starting to see (for example) what my role in the MS community is and what it can be. What it should be. Because of this newfound “clarity”, I can also see where I was not succeeding before. They say hindsight is 20/20 – well I feel like my hindsight recently saw an optometrist and got glasses. I feel… “motivated” to succeed and that is not something I am used to feeling. So it might take me a while to get off the ground but I am hoping that by the new year I can get my life “off the ground”.