I had a Multiple Sclerosis flare up yesterday, and then this happened (see picture) and it all made sense:
Last night was "tabletop game night" with my friends. I wanted to enjoy my in-person hangout time with some of my buddies last night; it is a really great outlet, providing much needed adult socialization. But I had MS cognitive-fog to the point that I kept getting confused and sounded like someone who has never played that game before... even though my friends and I have been playing this particular game together for over a year now.
Then there was an accident where my whole right arm got messed up and started having major problems, which is now keeping me up all night even on my prescription pain meds. Nerve-pain is such a different type of beast to battle-- it does what it wants and generally doesn't care about the fancy modern medicines we are otherwise so blessed to have.
Now it is the middle of the night and I am sitting here alone with my pain and in need of feeling like I can vent to a friend, even if nobody actually winds up hearing it.
I have worked hard over the years to find inner peace concerning my challenges, but the struggle to sound even remotely coherent in front of people last night got past my treasured mental/emotional armor, and I wound up feeling thoroughly embarrassed. Like... REALLY embarrassed. The "curl up in a ball and don't even *try* to keep up with my friends anymore" kind of embarrassed. I know I will snap out of it soon enough and get back to fighting the good fight, but that feeling super-sucked at the time.
Furthermore, I am now rather frustrated that the embarrassment has gotten to me this much. So far I can't shake the feeling of wanting to run and hide and not even go to game night anymore, so I won't have to feel like the dumbest guy in the room when this stuff happens. And it WILL happen, it's just a matter of time. [sigh] But like I said- I love game night, I *need* game night. So I know I will be excited to go the next time it comes around. But I will probably still be trying not to show my fear of being embarrassed again. I have no idea whether I will fool anybody, but I know I am going to try to whether I mean to or not-- it's simply in my nature to want to avoid feeling vulnerable or appear "weak" in front of people. Lame, I know... but I have come to grips with that part of my personality and it is what it is.
I worry sometimes that attempting to practice this level of authenticity can sound an awful lot like whining and self-pity, and maybe there is a certain amount of that in the mix. I am comfortable admitting my human nature. After all, that is what this blog is all about: contemplating the human condition. But for what it's worth, pointlessly indulging the urge to complain is not my intention. My desire and goal is to process things in a healthy way and figure out how to live a more purposeful and enlightened life.
I translate my experiences into personal improvement with varying degrees of success, but I am always going to try. The journey is it's own reward, I believe that. I feel it in my soul, and I love the peace that perspective can provide. I draw strength from that perspective daily; especially when what is right in front of me staring me in the face and daring me to keep smiling and hoping, is too much, too painful, too overwhelming to just shrug off. And as always- when we find our silver lining, there is the opportunity to share our experiences with each other because another person might relate to that struggle and wind up feeling less isolated. And that matters because every human life matters.
So I think that is all I have to say for now, and I have run out of energy to continue typing all of this with just my left hand. On the upside-- I have catharted™ sufficiently and might be tired enough now to go fall asleep. Goodnight, and I wish you good luck with whatever you are facing in your life today.
#Authenticity #WhenThePainJustWontStop #MSwarrior