The Fulcrum

Balance. Funny story; physically, it’s become a thing of the past for me, at least for now. But allegorically, we are all doing the same thing, whether you’re a pwMS or not; we’re all looking for that balance point, shifting back and forth on the beam of life. Where we find the balance that we need between activity and rest. That goes for the body as well as the mind. I suppose I can find some solace in the fact that in this one small area, I’m no different from anyone else. Two paces right, and the balance beam shifts just enough so that your brain enters into that “fight-or-flight-or-freeze response” (also known as the ‘holy-shit-something’s-about-to-go-really-badly’ state of physical preparedness, controlled by some part of your brain that I don’t really know or understand). What do you do? Common sense dictates that you would take two paces left, restoring the balance beam to a level state. But what if you’re unable to do that?

And this is where I find myself now. Do I take those paces to the left? Or do I live my life at a 37° angle, constantly on the edge, about to fall off the beam? Anyone with half a brain would tell me that rest is just as important as all the hard work that I committed to pursuing, with the eventual hope that the plasticity of my brain will find a way to reroute the necessary neural pathways for things that, for most people, are second nature; things like walking, typing, etc. I’m fortunate in that were I to tip that beam beyond the point at which I can stand, there will most certainly be a cavalcade of people — friends, family, and the like —  that will provide the necessary leverage, who will help me right the balance.

But somewhere, in all this, I know that there is a glaring discrepancy between me and a normal person. And that is my fulcrum.

My fulcrum is narrow. Its edges are worn from all the back-and-forth that it has been through. Even when perfectly balanced, my beam never feels safe. I’ve given it pills, I’ve given it injectables, but nothing has made it stronger. Unlike most people, whose fulcrum will grow stronger with time, mine gets weaker, making that balance more and more difficult to maintain. Every day. For the rest of my life.

This is a happy time of year. One that I wish I didn’t have the darkness that you just read in my mind. But just like I said in one of my previous posts, The MS Claw, it never leaves me completely, only loosens and tightens its grip. So while the shiny ball of happy that I am wants to wish any and all reading this the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of New Years, or the finest of holiday seasons, this is where I come to ‘breathe out’.
The beautiful thing is that after exhaling, one must inhale. With that inhalation comes all the warmth of this time a year. So I hope that you too have a place where you can ‘exhale’, but remember that once you’ve done that, to breathe in again.

Keep your beam balanced…

-A.D.

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