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Reflections from Rowan

OMSer Rowan reflects back on her past year, her first year of living with MS.

This story was published on the forums on New Year’s Eve 2018 and is so lovely that we had to share it on our blog too!

As 2018 is drawing to a close, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my year.

A lot has happened; I got a promotion; I was diagnosed with MS; I was off work; I went back to work; I’m selling my house.

I’ve been a good wife; nurse; sister; daughter; friend and patient. I’ve grieved, I’ve healed, I’ve used my support network and surrounded myself with the good in my life.

I’ve been humbled by the reaction of people around me when I have needed them. I’ve laughed, cried (a lot), been tied up in knots and as this year is ending, I feel I can wrap this year up, for all its good and bad and move into 2019 with optimism, health, hope and contentment.

It has been a long year, and one I thought would never end. I hoped but never believed I would get to this stage. I wake up every morning grateful that I can brush my teeth, walk downstairs and do the other things I can manage in my day. This gratitude hasn’t diminished since the day in July I couldn’t walk more than 10 meters, it has actually heightened.

While others think that I have gone back to normal, nothing could be further from how I feel. Health is such a privilege, and my body is the temple that I can honor to demonstrate my gratitude. I am completely committed to nurturing and healing my body physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Eating well, exercising, meditating, resting and challenging myself is a fine balance that will take years to master, but the journey has already given me so much insight, I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

From the death sentence I perceived that MS had given me in July, I have actually become grateful to the condition. Am I mad? Maybe, but through the diagnosis, I have learned so much about myself, and the life that I want to live. I don’t believe that I would have made the changes to a healthier life without it, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been healthier.

I am no longer damaging my body with the dietary choices I was making, and am reducing the risk of developing all sorts of medical conditions that would have caught up with me in a few years. By having MS, I have somehow become healthier, and am aiming to live longer and better than if I’d carried on the path I was walking.

A mutual respect between my mind and my body has meant that I have come into alignment with ‘me’. MS is not something to fight, but a reflection on your relationship with you. Listen for the warning signs; your body is very sophisticated and will tell you if you’re doing too much. Look after your body and your body will look after you. Nurture, cultivate compassion and grow in 2019, make this the year for you!

In the year ahead I plan to continue fundraising for MS charities and train for the ultra challenge. Monthly goals (I do three for each aspect of my life [family, friends, self care, work etc]) help me to develop holistically, and feels great when I look back at all the things that I have achieved.

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