Why Being Positive Is Important To Me and my MS Warriors

Happy Day! I’ve been told by several friends and family that my positivity is irritating and misleading. No explanation necessary because we all have haters, doubters and loved ones with questionable motives or just bad days. I have family and friends that make concentrated efforts to prove how insincere my positivity is and catch me on down days. Think a phone call or discussion that begins with, “Humph, I knew that whole positive stuff wasn’t gon last”. Down days? Things are tough? Communication issues? Finanacial woes? Oh yes, I have them all like everybody else but I’m a MS Warrior. MS Warriors have Multiple Sclerosis. If you don’t know, MS is a BEAST. It’s an incurable, autoimmune disease. What’s an autoimmune disease? 👋🏾 I didn’t know either. Autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack itself resulting in an abundance of symptoms that range from simple to crippling and vary by the individual. I HAVE to be positive to deal with Multiple Sclerosis on a regular basis because no matter the symptom, it could be worse and will, if I allow it. I’ll give an example. I wake on a random Tuesday at 6am to severe itching, unrelenting itching, agonizing itching. It may be a foot, my ribs or worse, my gooch aka anal cavity. You have no idea. On itching days, I show and speak Gratitude if it hasn’t reached my gooch. I mean, I’m 38 years old and few experiences compare to a hyperactive itching of the anal cavity in a public environment, home setting or private quarters! Positivity is key here because the moment I allow my mind to drift into despair, the itching will spread to other body parts. I know this because of personal testimony. Being positive, for whatever reason, keeps my symptoms manageable. Its not comedy but MS can be comically debilitating. I’ve written that using my mantra, Love is Gratitude, Attitude and Passion, is key for surviving tough times. Yes, I use my mantra on these days of consistent itching. Being positive is paramount to navigating difficult periods of life because it grants perspective, glimpses of humor and moments to reflect. I have Spondylosis as well. Spondylosis is basically degenerative athritis of the spine, incurable and commonly associated with MS. There are hours throughout the day, any day, that the general pain in my body spikes from 2 to 7, scale of 1-10. By remaining positive, I am capable of appreciating the hours of little pain to complete tasks, play with my kids or do absolutely nothing. Being positive offers valuable insight on these days, causes of the spike in pain, how long the pain lasts and most importantly, relief of the pain. When I’m angry, sad, anxious or feeling other negative emotions, I can not process what is going on. When I allow negative emotions to the front of my thinking, my judgement suffers of irrational decision-making. Instead of analyzing what sparked the spike in pain, I dive in medicine cabinets for a temporary pharmaceutical solution. Positivity is a crucial element of my daily routine because the kidney tumor and IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, are magnified when I ingest pain relievers. A scenerio that concludes with pain relief for MS, Spondylosis or anything else is actually the proverbial first step down a slippery slope. I must remain positive, positive and more positive. My ability to walk has rapidly declined since March 2016. MS laid claim to my sense of balance, coincidentally leading to my diagnosis. Remaining positive keeps me in a slow, deliberate method of movement. I will finish the race of daily activities but I have no interest in winning; I’ll be where I should, when I should. If I overthink, my pace will shift towards an uncomfortable speed and I’ll fall. Not the haha-you-almost-fell stuff but the OMG-dude-you-alright spectacle. In Costa Rica, I was fussing with my brothers and fell. It was a sight of pure hilarious ecstasy. What I remember was fussing all the way over two chairs and through a glass table. I was so enamoured with negative emotions that I didn’t realize I fell until I heard the glass table shatter, felt my brothers pick me up and watched as others cleaned the glass from my clothing. See? Positivity is the common denominator of my success! Was I always positive? Please, not I said the Kendrick. This has come with my repeated attempts at managing a new life of physical pain and psychological warfare. What I mean is, I play mind games, with my damn self, to deal with pain and life. I have some spectacular self esteem issues spawning from MS. One, I try not to mention my diseases in daily conversations. I’m terrified my family, friends and associates will view me as a burden. Two, I feel I am a burden so I’m hypersensitive to jokes and comments that everything is about me. Finally, I am paranoid that my inability to play and do regular activities with my kids will be their lasting memory of me. I’m engaged in a risky, high stakes game of emotional battleship every single day. Being positive is the cheapest and most efficient manner of conquering my self esteem issues. First; with a strong positive Attitude, the illegitimate thoughts do not form, dance or threaten the harmony of my day. When my Attitude is positive, it serves as a defense mechanism. I can hold conversations without the minefield of destructive self images of being a burden and poor parent. I have to remain positive, positive and more positive. Today, I woke with a pain level of 4. I handled that so well I accompanied my wife and kids on an adventure in downtown Houston. Pain levels over 4 typically indicate a day of working anywhere but behind my desk so I was ready to partake. #PositiveThoughts. My imbalance kept me from playing with the kids as much I wanted but it was a good time. The kids really just wanted slushes, ice cream and to be outside with other kids. #PositiveThoughts. I enjoyed conversations with friends until IT hit. Somewhere during the collaboration of minds, I related the origin of my Pescatarian lifestyle with MS and immediately knew it was a colossal misstep. A smirk and grunt was all it took to rain symptoms on me. My ears automatically shot up like antennas. Was someone directing those signals of disbelief at me? How long had I been talking? Have I told the story too many times? I couldn’t recuperate and collect my positive thoughts before I felt vice grips along my neck and shoulders. Oh no! I tried pivoting and pushing the topic towards a different subject but the damage was done and the dissolution had begun. Within minutes, pain invaded my shoes and soaked my feet. It was mantra time, Love is Gratitude, Attitude and Passion. It took over an hour to compose my thoughts and settle down. An hour of the mantra. An hour of controlled breathing. When that hour ended, my pain sat at 5, neck, back, shoulders, right eye and stomach. The loss of positivity has been worse, much worse, but I did well today. This is why being positive is so important to me. #LifeWithMS

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