This weekend I tackled something that I have been dreading ever since I got sick last fall. I went to a big social event and I stayed the whole time! On top of that, I had so much fun!
My husband and I attended our friends’ wedding this weekend. Leading up to the day I was pretty nervous. This would be my first big “social outing” pretty much since my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis last fall.
Even before my diagnosis I would always get a little bit nervous before going to parties or events where there would be big crowds and lots of noise. Shortly after I found out I had MS my husband and I tried to go to a Timberwolves basketball game and we ended up leaving before the game even started due to me having a massive panic attack. I just couldn’t handle the noise of the crowd, the feeling of having so many people close to me, and the claustrophobia brought on by being enclosed in a building with so many people and limited exits.
Since then my social anxiety has grown more and more. What if I don’t feel well at the event, what if I need to leave but can’t find a socially acceptable way to do so? What if I push myself too hard and have another relapse? What if I have a panic attack in front of everyone? My mind just races to the worst possible scenarios, if I don’t actively work to calm myself down.
My energy levels still have not bounced back completely, so I was also uncertain as to how my body would react to an “all day” event.
But after all of that worry, I had a wonderful time with our friends and honestly didn’t feel too much fatigue/weakness the day of the wedding. I made sure that I stayed hydrated and limited my alcohol, and I kept cool by staying in the air conditioning as much as possible. I think I had so much else going on, and was focused on all of the love and joy around me that I forgot that I was even worried about “what my body could handle”.
I forgot that I had MS. That was really great feeling.
Laughing with friends, chatting with people I hadn’t seen in a while and dancing with my husband just filled my heart with so much positivity and happiness.
Now don’t get me wrong, my big weekend didn’t come without some price to pay. I am pretty sure I slept the entire day on Sunday, only waking up to eat and go to the bathroom. This morning I was pretty exhausted still. But I listened to my body and took a nice little morning nap (is that even a thing?). Slowly but surely, I can feel my energy coming back to me.
Even though MS does limit me physically at times, I am learning how to balance this disability and my life. I am learning that sometimes it is worth it to use a little more energy for a special occasion, I just need to plan on having a couple of “rest days” afterwards to allow myself to recover.
Multiple Sclerosis makes life more difficult, that is for sure. But it also has pushed me to realize that I am stronger than I ever knew I was. I can face the things that scare me and come out the other side smiling.
I am working on continuing to express myself and my emotions/experiences through creative outlets. Today I tried singing for the first time in a long time. It felt so good! I will say that I was surprised how tired just singing a few songs made me, but it was worth it!
I thought that a cover of “Titanium” expressed perfectly how I am feeling about my MS right now. It’s tough, I am fighting every day, but I am strong.