A post related to MS and coronavirus was already in the works on my computer. Then I reconsidered. I think we’ve all had our fill of such news and need a break. Besides, I’ve already done that. Instead, I’ll expound on a topic that was brought to my attention just last week.
In a recent presentation by my fellow MS blogger and author, Yvonne deSousa, she declared her philosophy of “fighting back” against MS through the use of humor. She does an admirable job of it. It got me to thinking that we all need an offensive game plan against this wretched and unscrupulous foe.
It wouldn’t be overstating the fact by saying that life with MS is a war. MS is the enemy. We can either surrender or fight back. As with any battle, we might fight back and still lose. There is no shame in that. The shame is in running from the battle.
The fight can take many forms. Here’s a list of strategies that comes to mind:
Taking MS medications is one way to fight back. They might not be effective in your case, but that’s the way of MS. It’s a slippery, deceptive enemy.
Maybe your weapons of choice are alternative treatments. Some might not even have been accepted by the scientific community, but at least you’re taking up arms in your battle.
Prayer is a strategy that has helped many–including me–beat back the foe. This goes hand in hand with faith in a Higher Power, something that has won many a battle for people struggling with addiction.
For Yvonne, laughter is not only good medicine, it’s a way of putting our common enemy in its place. The bad guy hates to be ridiculed. When we laugh in its face, we’ve already won a critical battle and we find the villain less fearful.
Gratitude, as well, mocks our adversary. MS wants us to wallow in the cesspool of self-pity, dwelling on what we can’t do and what we’re missing out on. That’s the path to surrender and defeat. But when we give thanks for what we have rather than obsess about what we don’t have, we are victors.
There is strength in numbers. If you were to face a mighty enemy force as a sole warrior, what would your odds be? Not so good, I’ll wager. No, we need a corps, a regiment, a community. Indeed, it takes a village to fight MS. Only a fool goes to battle alone. Wise Solomon put it this way:
…though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I can physically challenge my foe by exercising. MS does its best to lay waste to our bodies and minds. Exercising my body strengthens both.
Confuse and vanquish the enemy by serving others rather than self. Selfishness is the slippery slope to destruction. Moving outside ourselves builds the resilience we need to fight another day.
That’s one man’s list. How do you fight back?
[Please forgive the militaristic allegory. It would be inappropriate for a pacifist like myself except for the reality of this life and death struggle. Besides, it gives me a chance to use this picture from LOTR (without permission) to illustrate my point.]