Relapsing MS and the Importance of Setting Goals By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor • August 1, 2018
Throughout childhood we are taught to dream big. Parents, movies, and fairy tales promise we’ll live happily ever after if we simply visualize how our lives could unfold in a perfect world. But these dreams rarely materialize the way our young brains envisioned them, as we’re faced with life’s twists and turns.
I feel pretty confident in assuming that none of us living with relapsing multiple sclerosis, or any chronic disease, for that matter, sat around and fantasized about what life could be like if only we were sick. But that is the position in which we have all found ourselves today, and that is where goals must enter the picture.
When you receive a relapsing MS diagnosis, you have a few different choices—to feel sorry for yourself, to deny reality, or to accept the challenge that has been presented to you for some unknown reason. And honestly, you might make the first two choices before you get to the third.
Embracing the third option calls you to dig deep and see what you are truly capable of when the pressure is on. And so the goals begin.
1) Get past your first exacerbation.
2) As you begin your treatment journey, make sure you’re okay with the method of administration, monitoring schedule, and efficacy and safety profile.
3) Find a way to stay as active and engaged with your life as you can.
My mom, who also lived with relapsing MS, made number three on this goal list a top priority, inspiring me to follow in her footsteps when I was diagnosed in 2001. As this year unfolds, her example and radiant memory continue to push me to identify the goals I want to achieve and take action to fully realize them.
This year my priorities involve traveling somewhere I can make watercolor-worthy memories, making more time to write the book I have had in my head and my heart for years, and completing an instructional yoga video for all of us setting goals as we live with relapsing MS.
A couple of years ago, I was sharing a vision about which I was passionate with one of my dearest friends, and she asked me often, “So, what’s next? When you let an idea be a just an idea for too long, it runs the risk of never becoming a reality.”
I invite you to join me by identifying one or two goals that may seem realistic or just out of your reach. Set actionable to-dos, and hold yourself accountable. Planning for the future is what keeps us all moving forward.
So let me know in the comments—what goals do you hope to achieve?
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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