"If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?"
Standing strong with multiple sclerosis can be a tall order. In fact, sometimes standing up at all with MS is tough to manage. But maybe that’s when we find out how tall and tough we really are.
British essayist, poet, and playwright T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), who happened to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, likely didn’t face MS, but he certainly endured challenges in his life. Eliot may be best remembered as the author of The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, Murder in the Cathedral, and The Waste Land.
Here’s a thought-provoking quotation from T.S. Eliot that seems to fit life with MS to a tee.
Maybe Eliot was talking about treading water, not living with MS. But sometimes it sort of feels like the same thing. How many MSers have dreamed big dreams and set ambitious goals for ourselves, only to find we are barely coping with mundane life when the MS MonSters knocks us flat for a while?
Sometimes, the seemingly smallest day-to-day victories over MS challenges feel like grander triumphs than the major mountains we have climbed or milestones we have met. Sure, that decades-old diploma, last year’s career promotion, or last week’s honorary award are meaningful indeed. But getting out of bed and simply showing up during an MS exacerbation may merit even greater self-satisfaction.
When MS seeks to sideline us with numbness, vertigo, extreme fatigue, sensory overload, vision losses, and other staggering symptoms, we may feel overwhelmed. Sure, we do. But we slug right back, as best as we can.
And we grow.
Maybe some of us are taller than we think we are.
Created by this user,
including adapted public domain artwork