When we think about chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS), we don’t always consider the emotional toil they can take on the people who have them.
We asked people with MS this question: What comfort object, activity, or mantra doubles up as your “security blanket”?
“Although it's tough to be awakened each day before dawn by desperately loud meows and copious licks on the face and arms, the persistent felines in the house are guaranteed to elicit big smiles and warm, fuzzy cuddles on the bed whenever a bit of cheering up is needed. My cats help me to cope daily with the ups and downs of living with MS.”
“In addition to my family and friends, the music of Bruce Springsteen truly has helped me stay mentally and emotionally ahead of life with multiple sclerosis. It is the one kind of medicine that is available any time of the day that I need empowerment and inspiration.”
“My answer today is very different than it would have been just a few short months ago: marijuana. Without a doubt. I recently began exploring using cannabis and CBD oil for relief of my chronic pain. Although I am still very new to medical marijuana and learning about the different strains and products, I have quickly become a huge advocate for its medical uses. It is the first thing in years that has managed to bring my pain levels down, while maintaining a clear head to function and go about my life.
“Given how severe and all-consuming the pain has been, discovering that there is something out there that does help has given me a great sense of hope and a great sense of security. Once again, I can say with conviction: I’ve got this. I have heard many other MSers comment ‘I couldn't live without my MMJ’ and I now completely get it.”
“The ability to smile. Smiles are beautiful and contagious and can change a world. And often it is all I have to offer. #TakeThatMS”
“I’ve got a mantra about this disease: MS is BS — multiple sclerosis is beatable someday. And when that day comes, and it will, I want to be armed with the healthiest body and mind possible. That rolls me out of bed on even the roughest of days.”
“Besides the security and comfort I get from Dan, my security blanket is the computer version of the board game Scrabble. Unorthodox as it may seem, the game helps me deal with those tough MS days. Winning is good for my spirit, proves I’ve still got it mentally, and I can be competitive at an activity that doesn’t require walking.”
“I am not sure of what I turned to other than prayer and meditation. I just never gave up, feeling like things would get better. I tell others to not give up. Of course, I was always thankful as I noticed it could be worse.”
Kim Standard has been living with MS for 37 years. A mom of two, she is the author of the blog Stuff Could Always Be Worse.