Difficult Little Reminders of Life Before MS
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While I am a believer in asking myself certain “what if?” questions, I don’t usually try to think of what my life might have been like if I hadn’t been diagnosed. In fact, when your forced me to think about that question when our community interviewed me a couple of years ago, I realized that life’s inertia carried me further than I’d expected that it had.
The idea of projecting what where I might have been – in relationships, in my career, in any aspect of my life – without MS is really nothing more than an uneducated guess (and really not worth my time).
The fact of the matter is, however, that we were all someplace in our lives before we were diagnosed. I have fallen from that place in many aspects. Without bemoaning; I can no longer do many of the things which I once found important and which gave me great joy and satisfaction. Not whining; just stating fact.
A recent (and truly amazing) 8-course tasting menu at a Michelin starred restaurant was just one of those reminders…
There was a day when I could have (and, actually did) carried off such a menu. I didn’t have a star to my name, but I worked foods, I bent them to my will or I used the lightest hand to let the ingredients speak without a whisper from the chef putting them onto the plate. While I know I had a long way to go before I could have reached the highest highs of my profession, I was good at my job.
It’s a simple fact that I cannot do that any longer… and, every once in a while, that makes me sad.
Just like we mourn our new physical losses and cope in our own way, I feel like these moments of sadness - as I come face to face with my former self – are some kind of mileposts in my journey in this new life. Life with MS is a journey, indeed. And sometimes, I am on a hill high enough and the road bends just so; then I am able to see a place far back which is a high point along my former way.
It has become easier (and the time lapses far less) for me to remember, acknowledge and celebrate the joy of that former achievement rather than bemoan the fact that I can’t do that any longer. I suppose it’s like what a person much advanced in age might feel when looking back on a lifetime of successes (and shortfalls).
I’ve said it (and written it in these pages) many times before: “We do what we do until we can no longer do it… then we find something else to do.” The key is in finding that something else and feeling successful at that.
Thank you all for helping me find new high places in this journey so that I can see those former peaks and relive those joys.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
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