It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. I’ll tell you why later.
I’ve been thinking about skipping. You know the way someone skips up a flight of stairs; not shallow, steep stairs, but deep ones that stretch out long to each side. Maybe eight, or perhaps, ten stairs. Like the kind that lead up to a large building; a courthouse or maybe a museum. I passed such a building a few weeks ago and watched as a woman, obviously in a rush, moved up those stairs with such a lightness that I caught my breath. Her legs moved in easy, snappy rhythm and each foot lifted in precise measure, finding its place back on the stair with quick sureness. She had a bag slung over one shoulder and carried another bag loosely in one hand. She never seemed to look down, her eyes focused on her destination at the top of the stairs. I moved on, gripping my cane, struck with a longing, remembering when I, too, moved through my world with ease and grace.
And then I waited at the next corner for the traffic light to turn green. A man rolled up beside me, his wheelchair grazing my leg. We waited together, he and I, separating when the green moved us along.
So this is my struggle: I feel a sense of shame when I dwell on what I can no longer do instead of celebrating what I still can do. I long for my body to be well, allowing me to live as freely as I did before. And then, when I see someone who moves with less ease than myself, I am grateful to be as well as I am. I know how bad MS can get. I know that my RRMS affords me freedoms that PPMS does not. How do fear and gratefulness cohabit? How does one find peace with these two powerful realities standing side by side?
Since progression began in my RRMS, a dreadful fear seems to permeate everything. Even if a plateau occurs, a bargaining process begins: “OK, I can live with this. If it gets no worse than this, I’ll be just fine. This I can deal with.” I’m not sure who I’m bargaining with, but I feel compelled to put the words out there. I just want to find some stillness. A way to ease the fear.
I think that I haven’t written lately because I felt consumed by MS-thinking that goes along with writing the blog. I didn’t want to think about the disease all the time. And then…..I realized that I am thinking about it most of the time anyway. So, here I am again. Thinking and writing.