Physical and Mental Wellness

By Lauren Kovacs

Ok fine!

I admit that denial of MS and its friends mental and physical stress is a battle. They go together and share equal importance. One affects the other. I had unknowingly adopted both.

Years of mental struggle and talk-therapy led me to medication eventually. I am not one to rely on pills. I try several options, before I let pills win. Anti-depressants are, for me, a must now.

I take a teeny-tiny dose, but it helps. It gets my day started without tears. If I think I can, I will try. The medication is my “I think I can” pill. Without it, I crumble. Any kind of physical exercise won’t  happen, if I don’t think I can.

Mental wellness affects my physical wellness. Sad means PT is not gonna happen. Sad means I have no energy to even try. I let “why bother” monster out.

Being in a good place mentally is my shield for the fight. That tiny bit of antidepressant makes my shield stronger. Took me years, but I get it now.

Being mad at MS is normal. It has taken so much. It is a greedy little pig. It has no qualms about leaving its victim in the pit of struggle and despair, alone.

We have to be in control of our mentality in order to fight our way through the mud of MS physically. MS can be like those big snow suits we had as kids. Remember how tired you got trying to move or get up. You would tell your body to move and often all you could do was lay there and breathe.

Making a snow angel was the only option. Make the snow angel. It was pretty and made you happy. It gave you the energy to get up to see your snow angel. Remember? Mental and physical wellness go together.

Just thinking is tiring, but being in a good place mentally might help. Brain work-outs trying to listen is tough. Talking can make the energy suckers really rev up. Find you own happy. Happiness can make some energy.

We don’t have lots of energy, but being decent mentally can help. Even the little nugget of energy we get is damaged. If the cookie is broken, it still tastes the same, right? Our energy is broken, but being in a decent place mentally can help you see past the brokenness.

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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