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You probably wouldn’t know this but I have struggled big time at various points with sticking 100% to the program since a bad relapse in February this year, and then later in June/July when I was told I had a fast growing brain tumour. Today, I have struggled too but feel better for the following meditation.

I have just been though the most incredible, blissful period of MS wellness which lasted for nearly seven weeks. The path to wellness has its up and downs but when our symptoms take a turn for the worse while we are diligently following the OMS program sometimes life becomes unbearably hard. How do you cope on those days and get yourself back on track?

Here are some of my worst irrational thoughts and then some healing thoughts to counter.

Fear, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness
Oh, crap I feel awful, really awful. This stupid program isn’t working! My MS is progressing rapidly and I’m going to end up like Bob in a wheelchair, I know it. How awful that will be. Imagine trying to live life in a wheelchair (your mind then visualises the pain of it all)

Oh, it’s back! I’ve been following this stupid diet for so long and I still feel like sh*t. My symptoms just won’t go away. It doesn’t work!

The situation is hopeless. All my dreams are lost! I am no use to anyone anymore with MS. What’s the point in continuing to follow OMS?

I can’t do this anymore; I don’t care anymore; I’m going to have chocolate, chips, chops, chicken, and coke. That’ll put me out of my misery.

This diet is so restrictive. I’m sick of the boring, bland, horrible experimental foods.

Overcoming thoughts
I will be ok. Yes, today I’m not the best but I have faith that I’ll feel better tomorrow or one day soon. Just because I feel bad now doesn’t mean that the program isn’t working or that I will end up in a wheelchair. I’m going to treat myself with some healthy, delicious seafood to comfort me. There is heaps of scientific evidence to prove that the OMS approach works – more than 200 people so far. I don’t feel well today but I choose to be courageous and follow the OMS which is my best chance for good health, being there for my family, and leading a purposeful life in the future.

Resentment
It’s just not fair! I’ve worked so hard and I don’t deserve to have MS or to be feeling this way.

Oh, why can’t I be healthy like Mary Jo or Billy Bob?

Aargh, I want to eat what my family eats; they all eat whatever they want and they seem to be ok.

Overcoming thought
I am inherently a good person and it’s not my fault that I developed MS. I can still enjoy a good quality purposeful life that is full of love, laughter, and delicious healthy food. With my tears, I now release the bitterness, resentment, and anger I hold towards myself. I will not surrender my life to this disease called MS. I choose to stand with the symptoms, however debilitating, and follow the evidenced based path to wellness. Staying on the OMS is the key to my future wellness.

Top irrational thoughts
There is no cause or cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
My doctor, friends, and family all tell me that the OMS doesn’t work

(MS is the result of eating a diet high in fat and highly processed foods as typically found in the western world over the last 100 or so years. Swank and Prof Jelinek have proven that diet does indeed work but it will take time for the medical community to accept the overwhelming evidence.)

If I experience a relapse/ grow more lesions this is evidence that the OMS doesn’t work
I must be well at all times if the OMS really works.

(Improvement comes gradually when you follow the OMS and you will still feel unwell at times during this period of stablisation. The path to wellness will most likely take three to five years.)

If only I had not developed MS I could have been …whatever I wanted!

(I have developed MS and am in the process of overcoming it. I believe that with patience and perseverance I can be whatever I choose.)

What if I end up in a wheelchair?

(I am not in a wheelchair at present. Even though I have MS and some people do end up in a wheelchair I choose to follow the evidence-based OMS for my future wellness.)

So, that’s my decent into the abyss and rise up out of it for today. Hopefully, I'm covered for answers if I still feel the same way tomorrow. Anyone else like to share your coping strategies for OBDs?
Blessings
Alex

Developed 5 May 2011, Diagnosed 4 Aug 2011, OMS 15 Sept 2011, Gluten-Free 22 February 2012, Recovery declaration 2 September 2014, recanting of recovery declaration due to relapse 14 October 2019.
Mine is if I do not follow OMS I will quite simply be worse off.
Do I want to play russian roulette on how bad that might be, no chance!
There is almost zero non compliant food at home and I don't do the shopping.
I am wheelchair bound, but:
-I still can shower independently/normal
-I still can climb the stair
-I never have pain
-I still can see almost 100 % normal
-I still can make my own food and smoothie
-In house I can do everything with my wheeler
-my declining has stopped; although still good and bad days
-sometimes things are going better than before
-etc. etc. etc.

I am a "champion" in the ability to turn negatives into positives.
And that's great.

Jossi
I make sure that all the emotions I experience are out, not suppressed. I cry when I feel like it, and do a lot of pillow punching/screaming when I feel angry. :) This helps, instantly. :)
Also, I draw my attention to breathing and whatever I am doing at the moment. This in itself is a form of meditation I guess and it really helps.

I just read the book sent to me by Margaret, from this forum :), ( A life returned - by Barbara Zaruba and Sonja Wierk) and the authors put an enormous accent on the benefits of relaxation in the recovery from even worse stages of MS progression.
It became so clear to me that it is of crucial importance to tune in again, relax and rediscover one's body. Does anyone else notice how much better everything is when in a relaxed frame of mind. Symptoms seem to get better! And it is a catch 22, as when you are well physically you are so mentally too, but when your body aches you mind does too, then your body gets even worse and so on. Its circular. I guess the trick is to overcome one step only, to brake this vicious circle, surely not only when things get bad. Maybe the answer lies in the body-mind connection. Drawing the attention to the sick part of the body, giving it love and not anger. Sonja Wierk explains this beautifully. I noticed that my spasms seem to disappear when I totally relax and talk to that part of the body which is most spastic. And I tend to stop limping when I talk to my leg and notice its every movement or lack of it...

I believe that everything is constantly changing, and this give me great strength - so I repeat to my self that it is all just temporary. And it does get better a little day by day. I always wonder how long it took for my body to develop it, and say that it then must take some time to rewind, to see the total remission. Everything in life takes time, nothing happens over night, and so does healing from such complex unhealthy process that is MS.

Light
Hi Alex - I just went to all of the places that you have described because after working diligently at all aspects of OMS for five months (and feeling like I was getting somewhere) I was hit with a wave of fatigue and stiff legs that has lasted for three days and got me really disappointed.

My initial reaction
Where is my life going? Is it over? This is driving me crazy. I don't want any of this--I can't even afford it. It must be my fault.. and on and on

My coping - I decided to give no gluten a try as this wave of fatigue followed eating a pretty fluffy looking pizza (no cheese of course!) and I reminded myself that I was only diagnosed 5 months ago and that isn't very long. I was actually at the gym two weeks ago and went swimming in the ocean. I need to be patient if it goes backwards a bit. I am also allowed to cry and be really frustrated sometimes.

Its hard sometimes....

The other thing I use to help is that I now have enormous faith in my own strength - it has really surprised me.
Hey nryan,

What a couple of days eh? Glad you survived and yes I think allowing yourself the luxury of a good cry is really cathartic. Isn't it amazing what you learn about yourself in adversity. Good luck on going GF. I think of all the change this was the hardest but certainly made a huge difference.

Sandrili, I like your commitment to pressing the release valve and letting your emotions out. Better out than in so they say.
I agree, I think we are so much better at coping with ups and downs of life when we are in that relaxed frame of mind that comes from meditation. So it's all about balance - there's a time for screaming and there's a time for relaxing.

Jossi, my hat is firmly tipped to you. You are amazing and I felt a lump in my throat when I read your first line and then felt completely in awe of your attitude as I read on. You are true champion in my eyes too.

Veg, I did laugh at your reply. You're a straight shootin' gal and I love the sentiment. Now why on earth couldn't I have just talked myself out of the situation by using your sentence ' If I do not follow OMS I will quite simply be worse off.' Truth is that approach worked for the first year and a half but then something changed - I did. So now I really just try my best to let those nasty pasty thoughts fly right on by. Someone said you can't stop the birds circling around you but you can do something about them making a nest in your head!

Our thoughts are so potent and using meditation to learn to control them is one of the pillars of the program. Here's to more deep breathing.
Blessings
Alex

Developed 5 May 2011, Diagnosed 4 Aug 2011, OMS 15 Sept 2011, Gluten-Free 22 February 2012, Recovery declaration 2 September 2014, recanting of recovery declaration due to relapse 14 October 2019.
Bless you Alex - you are an inspiration and a breath of fresh air :)
:) Got a sudden sharp wave of sadness over the illness as struggling to stick to the program as it's expensive here in Ireland and I'm in between work thanks to MS literally just found out about the program and have bought the books but only doing progressive little steps into it at the moment as it is expensive and a big change . My left leg is bugging me and I'm so tired and was having a wave of saddness over it taking too long and if I was too late or taking it to slow and your article has helped a lot. feeling a bit calmer ..This is all very new and scary so thanks
I hope this doesn't sound like me preaching or being overly virtuous, but after 35 years of having MS I would like to explain how I mostly remain positive and deal with occasional inevitable difficulties. Believe me, I have learnt through the tough school of experience:

1) All of us go through difficult times especially when we are tired. Even so, I do know that negativity is destructive when it comes to MS. Any attempt to do or think something positive, even if in the end it turns out wrong, has to be a good thing. I know from experience that stress and negativity can bring about a decline in my physical condition. When I do get very tired and begin to feel negative or unwell I sometimes do something which is mindless but demanding (e.g. a computer game?). This occupies my mind and stops me spiralling down into greater depths of depression.

2) I have meditated for many years and I know that when things are really tough there is a calm, still, place within me that I can go where stress cannot get to me and where I can watch my negative, fearful thoughts come and go.

3) I try not to compare myself with others and try not to measure or mourn the loss of abilities that I might have had. Life is a constant state of adjustment! I believe we are in this life to learn and that we learn more from difficult challenges than good times! I believe that I have discovered more about myself through my MS than would otherwise have been the case. I'm grateful for that and know that MS has made me a stronger person! There is an old saying that 'there are no problems only solutions' what I understand this to mean is that when I come to a difficult challenge I look for, and ask within for the solution to my problem. It's amazing how often the answer comes!

4) I actually do enjoy the OMS diet and would not want to go back to my old ways of eating. I am aware that I would not be eating such lovely, nutritious food without my originally needing to find hope in dealing with my MS.

5) I use a wheelchair and that is a good thing! I hate the phrase 'end up in a wheelchair' it makes it sound like one's life is over. Instead, my wheelchair allows me to feel free. I am free to move around in spite of the fact that my legs do not work properly. If I was an able-bodied person I would not regard driving a car as 'ending up in a car'. It makes sense to drive rather than walk great distances! My electric wheelchair is great!!! With it I am less disabled that I would be without it!

6) Finaly, I know I often fail, and that I have an abundance of weaknesses and faults. Even with all my faults and personality problems I am me! Even though MS has stripped me of many things that I once used to think of as being an essential part of me I am still me. The fact that my body no longer works as it should has shown me that I am more than my body. I have learned to accept what I am and more importantly have learnt to forgive my personality for the things I don't like! My personality is no more than the clothes that I wear that allows me to interact with others. However, my personality, like my body, is not in essence me – that self lies within and is incorruptible and not damaged by illness or time!
‘You are, through your soul not your body, a human being’.
Thank for posting Alex. Although I am doing better than I had hoped 16 months ago when I started down this road, I still have "wobbles". Sometimes the wobble tips me into a negative spiral.

My internal message to stop the spiral is the following: It took over 15 years for the damage to my nervous system to get to the point that my symptoms could not be dismissed. I need to be kind to myself. My body needs time and the tools to fix three things: the autoimmune system; the blood brain barrier and the actual lesions themselves. All three need repair. Each repairs at a different pace. If I stress out, then more lesions may form...relax.
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