Booting the Mental Devil

By Scott Cremeans

I went through many years of a deep dark depression that enticed me to see just how close I could get to the edge. This game of chicken between the darkness and the light stole my thirties from me and cannot return the years that were taken. This onslaught occurred as the angel and devil on either shoulder taunted me with a ruthless game of truth or dare. Although this atrocity would not stop, the bold brutal battle did not come to the desired conclusion of the dark side. The following is what helped me, and hopefully, others can learn from my time in perdition and my re-entry into society.

To help with brain balance, you need to bombard yourself with enthusiastically encouraging endorphins. These positive peptides resemble opiates in the brain and raise the pain threshold. This action has a significantly positive impact on one’s mental agility benefiting the overall outlook on life. There are seven main ways to boost your endorphin production, but I will speak on the several that helped me specifically in my life’s reinstatement.

Friendships are the first way to boost your endorphins to aid in your mental modulation. For me, it started slowly, with one friend who reintroduced me to the art of socialization. He would visit once per week at my house until he eventually enticed me to venture into public with offers of savory sustenance. I still felt shame, but my new buddy did not back down from the challenge of encouraging me to open up to the possibilities of life.

Laughing is another way to boost and induce more of the bodies positive mind manipulators. Eventually, I made more friends that helped me to remember how to laugh and enjoy life. Good friends can encourage your tear ducts to dump buckets of face drenching tears as you pound on the table and cry out with cachinnation. These new kind compadres helped me to make fun of this arguing devil and angel and see the funny in everything. This thought was helpful to me as I was then able to forget about all of my sad sorrows and pitiful past and focus on my new friends and life outlook.

Exercise can also help your mental wellness as it did and continually does for me daily. For those of us who have MS, there is a fine line between doing too much and not enough. What is worse is that this tightrope jumps like a Chihuahua hopped up on Red Bull rarely sitting in the same place. The key is to create a habit of fitness by starting gradually as to not get overwhelmed. It is imperative to set your goals during the formation of this important ritual by doing too little rather than too much. Twenty days is what the average person needs to create a repetitious routine of physical fitness. At the time your fitness ideals are a common practice then at that time once per week ramp up your training slightly as to not get discouraged.

Lastly, meditation helped me to guide my mental monsters out of my brain while organizing my thoughts. The practice of this quiet rumination can be challenging, especially for those of us with busy brain syndrome. Guided meditation has a person who verbally suggests the direction of your mind manipulations while unguided simply plays music for you. At this point, you must decide to use guided or unguided for your deep contemplation. I find it absolutely advantageous to start with the guided meditation that takes you on a relaxing tour through your mind meadows. Once you learn and can take control of your brain box, you will no longer need the advice of the instructing voice. Once you are rid of these verbal suggestions, you control the meditation path and can lead your mind through its mental neural pathways.

Friends help you laugh at everything and remind you of the benefits and joys of life while being there to simply listen when needed. These capitol cohorts can help you give your funny bone a workout until your muscles are sore from the exercise routine. Fitness not only aids in continual body conditioning but when done with compassionate companions you will have stories and humor for years to come.

The right strategies will help you manage your struggles.

*Scott Cremeans lives in Central Ohio. He is a US Marine who was diagnosed with RRMS in 2001 at the age of 27. Scott has successfully managed his MS symptoms on his own with his faith, friends, and humor. You can read more about his MS journey by visiting his blog www.myramblings.blog where he muses about life in the slow lane with his literary wit.

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As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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