Living with a neurological can be difficult – at times, it can be bearable, with symptoms although always present, they are however manageable.
At other times, however, symptoms are out of control; life feels as if you are on a battlefield – your condition and its symptoms are at war with your brain and the rest of your body.
During recent times, my experience living with a neurological condition has definitely been the latter – with symptoms becoming out of control, and everything being a struggle.
I think that what has been particularly tricky recently is because all the symptoms that I experience are out of control all at once. The dizziness has yet again been very severe, which has left me feeling incredibly nauseous a lot of the time. And not forgetting the severe trembling and pain in the legs, oh and not forgetting the terrible fatigue; hampered by episodes of insomnia. Of course, it is not pleasant when even one symptom is out of control but is at least a lot more manageable dealing with one such symptom than several symptoms at once.
So, how do we cope when our conditions are out of control? How do we cope when you feel at war with your own body?
I have learned that often we just need to hold on. Hold on until it passes. As I would like to believe all bad times, whether it be because of a neurological condition, another chronic illness, bereavement or even a break-up, passes with time; just as clouds pass over to reveal bright, beautiful sunshine. I choose to hold on to hope – the hope that it will pass.
But just as much as we need to hold on – hold on to the hope that it will get better; those symptoms will improve given time, we also need to let go. To let go everything that we cannot change. As much as I realise that we should let go of the worry and sadness of things we cannot control; I understand that it is often easier said than done. I admit that I find it difficult at times, and find myself getting upset of what I cannot do or find challenging as a result of the neurological condition. However, I try my best to keep the negative thoughts to a minimum and attempt to find the silver lining in the particular situation (e.g., not being able to get out of bed). I mean, who doesn’t love an excuse to have a PJ day and watch films all day?!) and accept that this is my reality.
There are certain aspects of my condition that I cannot control, such as the symptoms and the effects that these symptoms have on my life. I do have control, however, on how I choose to deal with the condition. It is not easy, however, especially when the symptoms are very severe. The way that I choose to deal with this illness is through my writing and sharing my experiences with others, volunteering for great causes, reading books, laughing and talking with friends, and watching my favourite films and television programmes. Those are some of the activities that I do to make me happy and help me forget that I am a person living with a neurological condition as well as distracting myself from the symptoms that haunt my life every day if even it is for a short time.
So, to help me cope with living with a neurological condition, I both hold on and let go! I hold onto the positives and let go of everything which I cannot control. How do you cope with the bad times and dealing with a life-long illness? How do you hold on or let go when life is difficult?