Kendrick Avant

How To Stay Positive When Things Are Tough, Episode 2:

I knew IT was coming. I’m telling you now, right now, I knew IT was coming. It’s Friday and I felt IT Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday was the first day I returned to the classroom. I retired from teaching January 16, 2016 due to health concerns and was diagnosed with IT on October 10th. IT was Multiple Sclerosis.

Enough sidebar, IT hit me while substituting. Naw, I’m lying. IT hit me early that same morning. IT smashed me while substituting! Look, apologies to my #MSWarriors but being around high school kids while rocking that MS walk is terrifying! Before then, I was strong of mind and hardened of heart. Having to strut through the cafeteria doors, tipping on the precipice of a glorious fall, cane tapping, one arm waving violenting in a valiant attempt to maintain balance is sooooooo NOT cool beans. Sure, I prepared for IT. I did my yoga all week and even pushed myself to hold every position an extra two seconds. I repeated my GAP mantra vigorously as I drove with two feet down a dark, one lane road to the school. I took my lemon/lime water, kept cold by the Oregon Yeti. Yo! I took my work to keep busy because #MSWarriors know, when the mind goes, we’ve lost the day and learned some wack lesson. Not even learned, more like reminded. Still, IT slammed me into a tailspin of negativity and self doubt. IT was tough and ready to squab. Squab? Yup, squab. As in, 1989-ish, kids walking in a circle, facing each other, shoulders touching, squab. My Multiple Sclerosis was raging in full splendour and it was IT. What was a relatively young, reasonably attractive #MSWarrior to Do?

1.) STAY CALM – It’s not rocket science or some difficult Jedi mind trick. You have to stay as calm as possible. I’m a sensitive guy (You can’t whoop me.) and I don’t play well when IT hits. My feelings get hurt even quicker and I retreat into depression. The standard depression stuff, why me? I’m alone. I’m just a bill to my family. If you’re anything like me, that is worst case, break-the-glass emergency type drama. You/I/We must remain calm. On THIS particular episode, I brought my passion with me, putting people in homes and protecting families. Other days, I repeat my GAP mantra, Gratitude, Attitude and Passion. A common tactic is scanning through Instagram for positive memes to repost. Warning: Time Loss! Look, whatever it takes (insert cannabis joke) BUT keep your wits and stay calm.

2.) Ain’t No Two – Sorry. I will NOT baby myself or you. There is no two or 2nd option. What about that other thing? What other thing. In case you didn’t know, I only naturally medicate, Pescatarian diet and such. My entire foundation of coping with Multiple Sclerosis and the incurable diseases that I host is prevention and keeping my mind right. It’s that simple and painfully effective. I can handle physical pain (#MSWarriors stand up!) but there’s no allocation of resources to handle mental or spiritual damage. I can’t pop a pill to repair what my depressed mind may damage. That means, when you’re having an episode, Things Are Tough or IT is hunting you, STAY CALM. Sounds simple. IT is simple. And whether you’re taking prescription medications, going natural or doing the combo thing, STAYING CALM is number one.

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