There is never a time for an honest retrospective, because what is it that’s always said after catastrophe, disaster, and heartbreak? “Lessons will be learned”. Or at least that’s what we’re told whenever national institutions must account for lack of preparation, errors of judgement, loss of lives.
“Live life not MS” has long been my mantra. It predated coronavirus before I morphed the chant into “Live life not COVID”. That, as much as anything, helped to sustain me during those long months of self-confinement. After all, I already knew what it was like not being able to do what I wanted to do, or go where I wanted to go. I had already been living lockdown before it became chic.
Putting things in perspective
Although thankfully I hadn’t lost anyone to the virus over the last 18 months, I was aware of those who had succumbed. It gave me perspective. Despite living with a less than satisfactory quality of life, I’m more than aware of what the last year has been like for so many who contracted COVID. Looking at it like that made me realise that maybe having MS was perhaps not the worst thing to have happened to me over the past 40 years.
Living through this global catastrophe has offered me a renewed appreciation of what I can still do as opposed to what I cannot.
Perhaps by being fortunate enough to have MS – and yes, I choose my words with care – was what helped me through the COVID-19 experience.
Staying one step ahead of MS
There is an expression: "if you believe that you are weak, then weak you’ll surely be" and there is much to that saying. Thanks to daily sessions of meditation and mindfulness not only had I become mentally stronger to cope with COVID. But it has also strengthened my resolve to stay one step ahead of MS.
Until the cure is found, the mind remains an MSer’s greatest asset in fighting back against the illness. To be the people we once were before diagnosis and to remind every other MSer to live life not MS.
Martin is an MS blogger and influencer. You can read more of his blogs at martinbaum.co.uk