So I’m getting close to the end of and 11 week course of mindfulness meditation for people with chronic pain done through the hospital down the road from me. It was actually a group consisting entirely of other people with MS, at various stages, and it’s been a pretty great experience for me. Its all about being more mindful of yourself, your surroundings, and accepting the things you can’t change, like chronic pain etc. It’s been an eye opener for me in a lot of ways. Personally, I found one of the best parts of it to be just being able to talk and meet other MSers and to be able to relate to other people in person about the issue’s we all face. It was almost a sort of support group as well as a class about meditation. Though we are all different, there is a lot of common ground, and its nice to be able to find that with a group of once strangers.
I think the meditation side of it has taught me to be more calm. I focus on my breathing when I find myself getting worked up these days, and while I didn’t meditate every single day like I was supposed to, I have been doing it way more than I thought I would. Sometimes I even think to myself how I should meditate before I know I have to do something that scares me, or stresses me out. It helps me to sort of ground myself and calm that ongoing inner dialogue for a few minutes, which can be a nice change, almost peaceful.
It’s hard to say that this course is the reason for my changes, but since I started it a lot of new things have happened. I think maybe it has played a role in helping me get to the point I’m at right now, which is trying to focus on the positives, and to kind of just keep the hope alive really. I’ve been pushing my comfort zone more and more, and experiencing new things. I was in a not great place with all this for a long time. Even if I wouldn’t really admit it to myself, I didn’t see real happiness in my future. I think I really started to worry that wouldn’t happen.. But now I’m starting to. Now I have hope that there is more good to come, and am starting to actually believe that I deserve it. Maybe I’ll need to achieve things in a different way now, but anything is possible. I’m not saying that everything is great right now and that I don’t have bad day. Days where I feel a bit down, when my pain or MS symptoms feel unbearable and overwhelming. On those days I now try to remind myself of the good that has come with this whole MS thing. The person I’m becoming because of it. So it’s not all negative, and I truly believe I’m better for what I’ve gone through these past couple of years.
I may still have a ways to go, but I feel like, for the first time in a long time, that I’m actually making progress, and that’s a pretty great feeling.