This autumn will mark the 10th anniversary of the MS & Me blog, published by MS Ireland. When I started writing for them in November of 2013, my first post was called “The View From Here.” It was a figurative title, as we live in the farthest westerly town on this island, and “from here” was intended to refer to that isolated location. But it turned out to be so much more.
I Often See the World From the Back of the Pack
Today, the phrase “the view from here” has taken another turn as my disease progresses. I’m finding that my view of the world is often from either the back of the pack or from flat on my back.
The world moves too fast for me to keep up with it. By the time I reach the waypoints of my peers, they have moved on to the next thing, and I fall farther and farther behind. And that’s if I’m even standing at all.
I’ve had more than a few falls over the years. These past 8 to 10 months have seen even more than usual.
Those falls have left both my physical and psychological selves bruised and battered. I’ve been rehabilitating the physical damage done and taken note of the nonphysical injuries as well. Both have taken time and effort to simply be “not as bad.” I haven’t got back to baseline on either front. And I mayn’t.
I’m Learning to Set My Own Pace
I can’t see myself not trying to keep up — or at least keep in view of — the world around me. That would simply be giving in to the forces this disease puts on all of us. But I believe (and hope) that I’m finally learning that I needn’t keep pace with the world at the cost of enjoying life in that world.
In fact, as I think back to that original piece I wrote under that title, I’ve come to understand that the view from here, while often from the ground up, isn’t all bad.
I remember times lying on the ground with my dogs, comforted by layers of wild grasses so thick my green bed was softer than most hotel mattresses I’ve ever encountered. The clouds passing across the sky more beautiful than any masterwork I’ve seen in any museum. The happy sounds of puppies playing around (or on) me as engaging as any concert I’ve ever attended.
“When you’re down,” goes the saying, “the only way is up.”
I’ll Enjoy the View Wherever I Am
And up I will get. But while I’m down — either down on the ground, down on my luck, or down in an emotional sense — I’m going to endeavor to remember the beauty and joy that can be found while I’m still splayed out by the forces of MS or gravity.
The view from here isn’t always (and often isn’t) what I had expected or for which I had planned. It is, however, my view of the world, and it’s the only one I have at that moment. If I were to wish away all those moments and focus only on the goal ahead, I’d be missing much of the present.
And at this stage in my life with multiple sclerosis, I understand that the now — whatever now is — is at least as important as the next. The view from here is the view I have, so I’m going to enjoy it for whatever it is and be happy with the best that I can take from and give back to the day.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.