Recreationally resting and leisurely relaxing…

By Scott Cremeans

The idea of relaxation is simply subjective as everyone has their way of finding a happy hiatus. Some people find a benefit in working on tasks that they enjoy, yet others need to stop working altogether to find pure relaxation. Specific individuals need the assistance and support of good friends to find absolute cessation. Countless people require total solitude to attain relaxation, while many desire groups of friends to achieve an immersive intermission.

There is the idea of enjoying Continue reading

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Music and MS – Songs That Best Describe MS

Music can have a profound impact on our feelings and emotions. When a good song comes on the radio, we often find ourselves happily singing along to our favorite tune. One of the main reasons we enjoy music so much is that we can truly identify with certain song lyrics, and moreover, it is comforting to know that someone else may feel the same way that we do. Because MS has such a strong presence in the daily life of those with the disease, people with MS often find themselves equating their experiences with those of others, through music. We asked the MultipleSclerosis.Net community to share with us the names of songs that best describe their MS, and we’ve highlighted the top five responses we received.


5. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly Clarkson
Many people feel that having MS has made them stronger, overall. Kelly Clarkson’s song is truly empowering, as the chorus states “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone…” Another verse of the song that really resonates with the MS community declares “you think you got the best of me, think you’ve had the last laugh, bet you think that everything good is gone, think you left me broken down, think that I’d come running back, baby you don’t know me, cause you’re dead wrong.” The positive, upbeat nature of this song makes it a great one to belt out in the car, no matter how good (or bad) your singing voice is.

4. “Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd
While we like to identify with upbeat, empowering songs, sometimes we take solace in knowing that someone else is struggling the same way we are. Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” is one such song, and in this case, the song title says it all. Many people with MS experience physical numbness, but this feeling of numbness is also metaphorical. Being diagnosed with MS can be overwhelming, and sometimes people with MS just feel completely “comfortably” numb.

3. There was a 3-way tie for the third most popular song: “One Day at a Time” – original lyrics by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson, “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gayner, and “Monster” – Eminem featuring Rihanna. As with many battles people face in life, coping with MS is often accomplished one day at a time. “I Will Survive” may be about getting over a relationship, but over the years Gaynor’s trademark song has taken on so much more meaning for anyone struggling a battle of his or her own. The chorus of the most recent of these 3 songs, “Monster”, proclaims “I’m friends with the monster, that’s under my bed, get along with the voices inside of my head, you’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath, and you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy”. Some people consider MS to be a MonSter, and singing along to this tune may be just what you need to deal with the beast that is MS to get through your day.

2. It’s a true challenge not to sing along when Katy Perry belts out the lyrics to her hit, “Roar.” The chorus can motivate anyone to fight whatever battle it is that they are fighting: “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ’cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.” Tied with Perry’s “Roar” was “I Get Knocked Down (But I Get up Again) (Tubthumping)” by Chumbawamba. This song, released in 1997, embodies the idea that MS may try to knock us down, but we will get up again, and again, and again.

1. And finally, the song with the most votes was “I’m Still Standing” – Elton John. This song is a true classic that resonates with anyone going through trying times: “Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did, looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid, I’m still standing after all this time, picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”

Wondering about the other songs that were named? You can view the full list here.

What song best describes your experience with MS?

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Challenging Memories

Often a memory is sparked by some sort of trigger which could manifest itself as many things, a smell, a touch, or hearing a particular sound. For many, music can be a hallmarkTime For Reflection Message Means Ponder Or Reflect of specific times in their life so when listening to the radio and some random song from your past comes on you may be taken back to your living room and remember dancing and laughing with your girlfriends in the 6th grade.

Most of these memories are benign and may start you reminiscing; however, sometimes music can also evoke memories of more challenging times in your life, especially around moments of great grief or loss.

This morning, I heard one of these songs on the radio and it sparked a train of memories about a time in my life in which I experienced a significant loss. No matter how many times I hear that song it will always bring back a flood of memories.  While I can’t stop the association my response to that song is now different than it may have been 20 years ago. As people change and evolve over time so do our emotions and our personal reflections on memories even of very difficult and challenging times in our lives.

Everyone has not one song, but many; however, there may always be one that stands alone as “the song” or “the trigger” for some difficult event.  Sometimes reflection over growth and change over time can be beneficial. Over time we may find different truths in our memories, and maybe there is something positive which may be found amongst the pain. This morning when I heard “that song” I smiled instead of cried, and maybe it was a little bit of a sad smile, but that is o.k.

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