Tag Archives: relapse

LOOK Ma…No Relapse!

An extremely stressful few weeks WITHOUT an exacerbation .WooHoo!I am here to report that I made it through and I feel like it was without a doubt, due to my regular Mindfulness Meditation practice.

Black-woman-meditating1

This is how I’ve found meditation to work: Consistent practice builds up my resistance to stress which is sometimes present in daily life, like, getting kids off to school or going to work. Stress however, is not something that we can always predict, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the holidays, or a divorce. I have found that I am most resilient against these sometimes sudden and large stressors, as a result of my Mindfulness Meditation. Does it always work? No. I believe that my last relapse was triggered by one of these large life stressors. One that I never would have even suspected of being able to reek such havoc but, in hindsight I realize that I had let my meditation lapse.

I feel the need to clarify here that “Meditation has Nothing to do with Religion” ( As explained here in a video interview with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra) As a young person, that thought would have made it impossible for me to take advantage of its stress and overall health benefits. Although many different religions incorporate meditation in their practice in different ways, it is not a religious act.

Note to self: Let’s keep a disciplined practice…disciplined.

Comments:What have you found to be helpful in your stress management?

References used below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.mayoclinic.org

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Filed under Stress Management

I auditioned for a MUSICAL and I KILLED IT!

Can I sing? HELL NO! but my renewed outlook on life went back to…fuck it! I can do anything that I want to!

Performing a Vday Monologue 2010, Artsquest, Bethlehem, PA

I did it like JAMES BROWN

I want to say “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart to Eleanor and Wil, Sharon, Paula and Dawn, for my day out on the boat. From Sharon driving to pick me up, to Dawn fixing my plate, to Eleanor serving tofu and grass feed beef, to Paula making me read poetry and think of Gwyn Michael.  Big thanks to Ryan Hulvat for being the REASON that I met each of the aforementioned people. I love you guys madly. (All my photography family)

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It’s hard to explain all of the ways in which that day was good for me, maybe even impossible. But, here’s an example: The following week I auditioned for a musical in Quakertown, PA. Can I sing? HELL NO! but my renewed outlook on life went back to…fuck it! I can do anything that I want to! I eagerly raised my hand to “sing” first and I did it like JAMES BROWN! I held nothing  back.  They paused and said…hmmmm:/ Can you read this script for us? Are you kidding me…I can read the hell out of anything you give me. Soooo, what are you saying…you don’t like my vocals:/??

I landed the only non musical part in the musical!! I KILLED it (LOL)

Point is: I’m now driving to Quakertown for rehearsal, meeting and engaging some really cool people. Feeling confident about what I have to offer and enjoying every ounce of it.

And last, but not least…thank you to Gwyn Michael R.I.P. for showing me how to live without the limits of others. My Warrior Sister! May you continue to look down on us, and smile 🙂

How have others motivated you to “get back out there”?

Do you have any suggestions for a person who finds themselves self-isolating, that would initiate change? Everyone always suggest volunteering in some way but, I want something different.

I find that if I have a reason to go…I am more likely to go. I’ve thought of starting a book-club at the local Cafe. What else would you suggest?

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Filed under Riding Out a Relapse, Uncategorized

Meet me for Coffee!

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We’ll set a time when you are free and so am I. No distractions please. You get a cup of coffee or tea at your house, and I do the same at mine. Then, whoever initiated the date makes the call, and we talk just like we would if I could see you. It’s really that simple.

If you’re ever limited in your ability to go out, it’s extremely important to keep your connection with others until you can do more. With MS, you can quickly lose touch; you don’t see it happening until it’s too late.  It’s such an unpredictable disease; you expect to be down for just a bit, but you never know. This withdrawal can lead to an unintended isolation, which leads to depression. It happens quickly. Friends call to talk and go places and you decline more and more. Your speech problems, your balance issues, your spasms, your fatigue. You really just don’t feel like going out.  Even talking on the phone can wear you out. It all takes so much energy. Eventually, they call less and you are relieved.

There are those few that hang in there. They don’t call as often, but they will still call, you can count on it. They’re the ones that understand because you’ve explained this to them when you were well, before the relapse. They call to say they don’t want to talk, the call is just to check on you, and to say that they love you.

Things you can do to make this easier:

1)      Most importantly, talk to your close friends when you are well. Explain to them how it feels when you are having a relapse, as best you can. Each relapse is different, but you can explain how things have gone in the past, and that they may be completely different but to please be patient.

2)      Send a blanket email or text to your selected friends.” I’m not answering calls or emails and such right now because my MS is acting up. Please don’t worry; I need to use my energy wisely.  Another note will come when I’m up to it. Meanwhile, keep the party going.”

3)      Answer calls when you can, but keep it simple. You don’t need to explain everything. “I know I haven’t answered your calls in a while but my MS is acting up and I feel crappy. Please call me back in a couple of days, (weeks, months).” Do not wear yourself out.

As soon as you can, do a little more. Start small. Answer more calls and even make some. Have coffee dates more often, and enjoy them.

Me and Ruthie 🙂300666_10200856069915856_673429886_n

COMMENTS: Please share the things that you do to stay connected that don’t require going out. We could use more ideas.

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Filed under Mental Well-Being, MS and Depression, Riding Out a Relapse