When Flare-Ups Leave Me Feeling Envious of Healthy People

Hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months. During a flare-up my daily schedule consists of sleeping and attempting to complete mundane tasks most people don’t think twice about. Being social is tiring and hanging out with family or friends becomes near impossible. I push myself to get dressed, make my bed or even take that grueling shower. Breaks and resting occur when doing chores or errands, I myself don’t want to tire out even more. Simply vacuuming could call for a short rest midway through. My mind wants to accomplish so much more than I am able to during a flare-up, yet I listen to my body when it demands attention for care. Pausing for my health can cause frustration, however. Even sadness, anger and envy towards others who don’t have to pace themselves at a small task or bigger ones such as school and/or work.

Envy isn’t a common emotion I have within my personality in general. The only periods of time I see envy occur within myself are when I’m experiencing a flare or a bad day and then notice or think of other people’s lives. Healthy individuals have so much opportunity and will never have to worry, “Am I too tired for …?” or “I would love to do… but I cannot because of MS.” Don’t misunderstand my statement here, I am so happy for others who accomplish amazing feats and will never have to experience multiple sclerosis. Even within the chronic illness community, there are so many amazing people who are so strong doing wonderful things. My emotions are simply a rollercoaster during my down moments and this is how my mind wanders sometimes. These thoughts usually come into play when moments such as me having to withdraw from school occurs.

School has always been one of my favorite environments. I love to learn and challenge myself as often as I can. The routine of applying myself to the work and meeting other students/ teachers who have the same learning joy as me is wonderful. I have to pace myself and prepare more than others such as going to a class much earlier so I have an ideal spot for example, or loading all my textbooks on a tablet so there’s less weight for me to haul around. However, going through all those steps are such a small price to pay in exchange for learning and having that structure. I was heartbroken when I had to withdraw from university my first semester. The rollercoaster of emotions hit me again…

I know I can accomplish anything and almost everything a healthy person can. My body and mind just need to approach tasks slower and in different ways. My mindset overall is positive and I could never let myself give up. These moments are just very hard to overcome and sometimes bring depression into the mix. Sometimes I wonder where I would be in life if multiple sclerosis was never part of my story. Yet I am then reminded of all the things I have gained by going through this experience. My outlook is positive on average, I have sincere family and friends all showing loving support, and I have gained a strength I never knew a person could have. I may stumble and fall, become jealous of others’ health, maybe even cry and want to scream at life. I’ll never give up though.

Getty Image by ViaDee

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Multiple Sclerosis

man sitting outside with text that says 'living with chronic illness: 5 tips for the newly diagnosed

Living With Chronic Illness: 5 Tips for the Newly Diagnosed

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis can be devastating. In this post, I let you know my experience after being diagnosed and five tips to help you. “Just keep doing what you are doing.” That is exactly what I was recommended to do by my neurologist 25 years ago when I asked [...]
woman napping on the couch

There Is No Shame in Napping When Your Body Needs It

I have a vague memory of being a toddler, my mother putting me down to nap in my crib one summer afternoon. Normally, I went to sleep. For some reason, that day, I realized if I was quiet, Mom would never know I wasn’t sleeping. I stayed awake, playing with the toys in my crib. When [...]
outside a hospital

The Words I Didn't Expect to Hear From a Nurse About My Dad

I’m a major hospital eavesdropper. It’s not a malicious habit or anything. It’s just that I’m easily bored, easily curious, and hospitals have all the right conditions for interesting listening. My family has spent many hours in hospitals because of complications with my dad’s multiple sclerosis, and one night I overheard something worth sharing. We [...]
A child's drawing of a family.

7 Healthy Ways You Can Help Your Children Cope With Your Illness

My children might not need me as much physically anymore – they can get themselves dressed, make their own breakfast and even, in the case of my oldest child, take himself to school. However, from an emotional point of view, they most definitely do still need me – arguments with school friends and worrying about [...]