Thursday, September 5, 2019

Effort 11 – My Body is a Liar

For 30 days, I will share the joys, pains, and dirty little secrets of my life with multiple sclerosis. My goal is to find a reason to convince you to support/share my fight against MS. Please donate today:

This is Effort Number 11…

The adage goes something like this: “You need to listen to your body. With multiple sclerosis, your body will help guide and regulate what is best. You need to listen to it.”

Personally, my body will lie in order to get its way. Having no idea what it needs, my body drives me into getting what it wants – to do nothing, with the assumption that more rest well ease my pain, prevent further injuries, and allow my body to heal. Only when the damage is done does my body join the rest of me in lamenting my decisions. My body is only one part of that aggregate “me” comprised of: My Body (Urges), My Mind (Logic), My Heart (Passions), and My Inside Voice (Pessimism, Self-Deprecating Sarcasm, Reality).
[At least I got a seat at the table!]

Inside Voice, I would say you are the abstraction to my own personification. You’re the checks and balances needed to prevent me from acting too harsh or abruptly.


You’re also a bit of an asshole.

[Irregardless, you need me.]

That’s not a word.
On a daily basis, my body tells me I cannot and should not do things. Exhaustion is usually its way of saying, “you need to rest.” All I would do, if my body had its way, is rest. My mind does the research and has training plans established — those plans take priority. Logic pulls me out of bed, dresses me, and gets me to the gym. My heart urges my body on the entire time, reminding me how great I will feel once it gets moving. My inside voice reminds me of what I will not be able to do tomorrow if I don’t get up and do it today. Usually, the rest of me wins. On occasion, my body refuses any attempt to give in. Usually, that’s bad, and all of me will regret the decision later. On occasion, it’s good in my body gets the rest we need.

This mind-boggling battle going on in my head most definitely falls under the Constant Noise category. In terms of the struggles created by my MS, this is not a debate limited to how often I will or will not go to the gym and work out.
  • Should I get out of bed in the morning?
  • Should I go to bed at night?
  • Should I eat? What should I eat?
  • Do I want to talk to anyone?
  • Do I want to write?
  • Do I want to…(fill in the blank)?

Every interaction, everything I do, is an ongoing struggle with the lies my body is telling me. From its one particular point of view, I never have the energy, nor the strength, nor the stamina to live the life I deserve.
  • My mind rationalizes the arguments, telling me it’s not because of my MS – this is what happens to everyone (aging, injury, depression, etc.). He then shows me the data of my MS tracker and exercise log; he reiterates how I’ve done it before, and how I can do it again.
  • My heart feels ache and sorrow for what MS has done to my body. He then reminds me of all the times I overcame my lethargy; he flashes back to moments where I suddenly felt strong again, like my MS was not winning.
  • My inside voice tells me to suck it up and quit whining like a six-year-old schoolgirl. He then shrugs his inside shoulders and says, “well, your body might have a point this time.”
  • The collective me – mind, body, heart, inside voice – simply says, “you got this,” then comes to an agreement on how far we will push this time.

It’s a wonderful play-by-play, a fairytale story of how I overcome the limitations my body places on me because of my MS. There is one catch, however (there is always a catch). All too many times, my body was right. I can’t do something at all, should not have attempted, or could not push as hard as I hoped. I’ve got the scars, bruises, and scratches to show for it. Worst of all, I also have a mind that realizing giving in may be the safer option; I have a heart unwilling to risk, for the loss may be too great; I’m left with an inside voice that doesn’t have the spirit to challenge my body’s energy.

Those are not the worst days. There worst will be when my mind, heart, and inside voice never stand up for themselves in the first place.

Some may wonder why I take the concept of Never Stop… Never Quit… to an extreme far too often. Multiple sclerosis only affects my body. I cannot, I will not let MS break my body, then take my mind, heart, and voice along with it. 
For if that happens, I have nothing left.

The hope is my story will inspire your donation in this fight.

Because it is a fight.
The fight is not over and it won’t be over until a cure is found.
It will never stop…nor will we
It will never quit…nor will we
This is why we ride!

100% of the royalties earned from my books go to the National MS Society, to support our fight:

Never Stop… Never Quit…®
Kevin Byrne
Portland, OR

Never Stop… Never Quit… Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

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