Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interesting gifts

Spent the day with a friend who's struggling with "I'm on the wrong road." Many... most... of my Yale class- of-'82 chums reported a similar problem... either "I'm in the wrong job" or "I'm working for the wrong people."

We M.S.ers, we have all sorts of stuff to deal with, physiologically/neurologically... if there's one thing we all share, it's increased sensitivity to—well, pretty much everything, and having just lived through it myself, I know all about "I'm on the wrong road" dissonance.

Personally, having to completely take myself "off the board" and go on disability, certainly came with a lot of issues that demanded (still demand) processing... but we do get a kind of permission to "press the reset button" because of our neurological-ity. It isn't necessarily easier, but when you're "accessorized" the way we are, when you say "Look, I just can't take this any more," it's somehow OK, because you've got The Disease.

But I've had friends who were (and alas, are) destined to come down with some sort of disease (fortunately not necessarily neurological, of course), because they were in such horrible dissonance with the road they were walking. That they felt they had no choice but to walk. Lady Adira, a character in Babylon 5, said that we say to ourselves that "we have no choice" to comfort ourselves with a choice we've already made, and aren't willing to change... and bad choices do cause a great deal of very, very painful dissonance.

Walking ANY highway is an interesting thing. We M.S.ers, we're gifted with especial sensitivity to any highway we travel... to every highway we travel. We are also gifted with societal/familial permission to say "I can't take X" without being somehow condemned for "lack of stick-to-it-ive-ness" or whatever. Somehow, we're permitted to say "No. Enough!" in ways we couldn't without the assistance of The Disease. Yes—the assistance of The Disease.

And yet, when you're on the wrong road, it hurts just as much, Disease or no Disease.

This gift... is a very interesting one.

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