The wintry evenings have me a little out of sorts. Last week the change of the clocks caused great difficulties, even though it was just one hour! This is a blog first published on MS Ireland’s MS&Me blog; written by people with MS for people with MS.
As we rush headlong into winter, today I remind myself to look for ways to get though the season and maybe even make the darker days, if not brighter, at least more manageable.
This dry spell we’ve had has transformed the green trees into a blaze of reds, oranges & unexpected brightened. When the sun is out, the days are long and the nights short, my health always seems much better. The colourful, crunchy leaves & walks in the woods with sunshine have made the change to the darker days easier to cope with. Something about the light causes even the bad days seem not so bad.
But what happens when the bad day is on a wet miserable winter day? The clock change has really knocked me off balance & I’m struggling. This week I’ve been up in the dark, commuting in an eerie half-light to spend a long day in the artificially illuminated office before going home at dusk.
It is the same every year only now I’m learning to focus on ‘just for now’ and not let the outer situation -weather- overly influence my emotions and overtake my reality. My supports comes in many guises but are all nuggets of joy – a reading in the morning before day really starts, a coffee on my way to work and meeting up with friends during the week. I prepare more ‘hearty’ meals, eat more soup, and make sure I’m keeping my Vitamin D levels topped up! One of my colleagues uses a ‘light box’ that influences Vitamin D as well as better mood- so I might invest in one myself.
Some MS symptoms come, some go & some stay to disrupt, disable & painfully remind us of our mortality. We have to be thinking about how we get to places, our energy & all sorts of other thing we never imagined dealing with at our age. Who knew incontinence/uncontrollable laughter/wobbles would be a feature of a young woman’s life? Despite it all, we stay ourselves. Its not the large gestures nor the big events that keep people going and that build reliance. Ordinary things like cups of tea in bed, favourite newspaper or magazine, time with family or being organised to avoid stressful situations (online Christmas shopping anyone?).
As the days shorten even more may we have the strength to change what we can, leave alone what we can’t and remind ourselves that however things are, good or bad, this too shall pass.
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