Authentic Happiness Archive

8

The Power Of The Chair

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“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” ~Mother Teresa

I own two power chairs. One is portable and the other is heavy-duty. Due to limited space in my home, the heavy-duty chair has been stored at my parent’s house. I never use it and it just sits in their dining room taking up space. My parents didn’t mind it staying there, but it bothered me. So last week I decided it has been at my parent’s house long enough and it was time to sell it.

So, what did I do? I took some pictures of it and tried to sale it on Facebook. I thought it was a good idea, but apparently…no one else did. Not one call.

Plan B was to give it away. I wish I had done that from the start.

I connected with my local MS Society and they gave me some leads of people who were in need. After a few days, I was able to connect with a fellow MSer who needed a power chair.

I recruited my dad to handle the specifics and the actual transfer of the chair. He’s good with that kind of stuff.

The man resides roughly two hours from my parent’s home, but was happy to make the trip. He was so appreciative.

Who knew how rewarding helping someone would be.

15

Living Cliché

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“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that
self may prove to be.”
– Mary Sarton

I wish I had a boring life.
I would be a mom with two kids and a stay at home wife.

I’d watch TV half the day.
Then shop the other time away.

I’d have lunch with friends.
Then, the next day, meet them again.

Go dancing on weekends and stay up late.
Every night, dinner with my husband is a usual date.

No medicine to ingest. No shots to inject.
I can go all day, no need for rest.

No doctors to see. No nurses around.
I’m always happy, you never see me frown.

I wouldn’t have to explain why I’m in a wheelchair, because there would be none there.

I would go to the movies and watch it from beginning to end.
I would run at the park with all my old and new friends.

I would sleep all day by choice.
And when I spoke, everyone would respect my voice.

No more smiling out of fear.
I’m the best at everything, the envy of all my peers.

My husband would be my husband, not my caretaker or nurse.
I would love that the most, because that part hurts the worst.

Am I wrong for wanting to be like everyone else?
I’m sad that I feel this way, but I really wish my life were a cliché.

13

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

I am back at the farm for another season of therapeutic horseback riding.

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I ride until August, then we take a couple of months off because of the heat.

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It cost $25 and I go once a week.

I really love it and recommend it to everyone.

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Meeting my new horse. (Video)

33

One Day At A Time

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“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” – Rollo May

Last month was a rough one for me. Physically, I was about the same. Emotionally, I was a wreck.

I was basically doing all the things I should not do. That includes, constantly thinking of activities I can no longer participate in. The more I thought, the more I cried. At first it was behind my husband’s back. Then it was right in front of him. I couldn’t control my emotions. I couldn’t hide the anguish any longer. I began to believe that MS was taking over my life. The pain was ringing in my head non-stop.

I consider this a personal low. I’m not proud of my behavior. I should have known something was up when I lost interest in the pastimes that keep me going and motivated.

But finally, I took a real look at myself. I focused on what was happening to me and I saw a depressed person.

How could I miss this? It’s simple Psych 101.

Thankfully, my husband suggested I visit my psychiatrists. So the next day I did. He increased one of my medications, but I still have some personal work to do.

The social worker I see, suggested I find something to keep me busy. I remembered that I already have that here with you guys. So I’ve come full circle, running with open arms, back to my online family. I’m right back where I started, but now I’m healthier and happier.

And I’m taking it, one day at a time.

12

Surrender To Reality

White Flag

“People do not like to think. 
If one thinks, one must reach conclusions.
 Conclusions are not always pleasant.” 
- Helen Keller

Just like everyone else, my life is a habitual attempt to achieve goals. Reaching, with our arms out in front of us, trying to grasp our greatest moments that we believe have yet to come. It’s a grand pursuit that we all have in common. But in that constant chase, the difference between most people and me is the fear that my highest achievements in life are behind me. I worry that my best days are now only realized through reminiscing.

Once MS took over my body, I re-entered the world as a different person. I have a pain that no one sees, my confidence is tested everyday and I have to accept that I can’t do all the things I use to do. The hardest part is learning to live in my new normals. I need to not fight it so much; instead I have to learn to accomplish things within my limitations. I need to surrender to reality. Once I do that, then I’ll be able to face the truth and concentrate on legitimate existing solutions and answers in my pursuit of happiness.

I must remember that I don’t possess my future. No one does. My new goal is to focus on what’s happening at this instant. Living in the moment.

Reminiscing can be fun but when you play the past over and over in your head, it becomes impossible to focus on happily living in the now.

13

Alive And Well

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“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I visit my occupational therapist (OT) weekly. She’s there to help me develop skills that will enable me to work or simply complete my activities of daily living, such as dressing and grooming. At this point we have become moderately acquainted with each other. I am a fairly outgoing person, when in the mood, and this is the part of me that she sees the most. We were talking the other day and I mentioned that I cry quite a lot.

“What!” She exclaimed. She seemed astounded.

It was nice to hear that she had a completely different perspective of me, one that seems to be closer to the original Nicole.

I like people to know that I do have a life outside of MS. I started this blog in order to highlight and find out whom that person was. It seems like somehow along the way I’ve steered off-road. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I spend dwelling on things I can no longer do. Or how often I still cry alone.

But apparently, according to my OT, not enough to tear apart my intact personality. So my new goal is to keep that part of me alive and well.

17

Do Nothing

I got a canibus lollipop.

“It’s bad to not do anything for 8 hours but it is sad to not be able to do anything for 8 hours.”

Someone once told me, “Hunger hurts but starving is worse”. So I try everyday to “feed my mind” with some type of activity. I do this because I realize a little activity is better than no activity.

Losing my ability to reflect and imagine is my biggest fear, so keeping my mind active is a top priority for me.

One of my faults is that I probably spend too much time inside the house. I’m also too depended on my husband to find me things to do. So to counteract this, I am always searching for new intellectual pursuits. Sometimes it’s substantial, like writing a 500-word post or speaking at an event. But most times it’s small things like sitting outside watching people walk by. With me, fatigue plays a huge factor so for that particular day; people watching may be all I’m able to do.

I use to be such an active person, so I had to convince myself that physical exercise isn’t the only way to obtain mental simulation. At one point in my life, I would see people sitting around and think they were lazy. Now I know, just because someone appears to be doing nothing doesn’t mean they are actually doing nothing. For me, I use that time to reflect and clear my mind, which lets me sort out future moves. I’m able to find the right paths and create new opportunities for potential endeavors. I call it, actively doing nothing.

So if you ever find yourself being bored or to tired for physical activity, take my advice and do nothing. Because sometimes doing nothing can bring you more to do.