One of the most challenging aspects of my diagnosis just seven short months ago was letting go of the person that I used to be. From that very first day, I knew that MS was going to change my life, but I had no idea that some of the changes could be so gratifying. At the height of my last relapse, I was dealing with severe weakness in my legs, cognitive deficits that affected my memory and my ability to multitask, and extreme fatigue yet I continued to push my body to the max. I worked 40+ hours a week with regular travel and unpredictable hours.
A few months in, I began to experience physical side effects and my doctor immediately feared another relapse. Lying in that MRI machine again listening to the thumps and whirs, praying that my brain was clear, I decided that I needed to make some real changes. Not just changes in perspective or changes in the method in which I do things but real, tangible, permanent changes. Later that week, a co-worker reached out to me and told me that I needed to start listening to my body and putting myself first for a change. It felt as if the universe was telling me to take a step back and look at myself and so I did.
What I saw scared me. I was fighting a losing battle. I was scrambling to stay aboard a sinking ship. My body was telling me to slow down and I knew that my current job would not allow for that. I began seeking other opportunities. I assessed my skill set and decided to take my career in a different direction. I jumped outside of my comfort zone and applied for jobs in other industries over the course of several months. I interviewed for a handful of those and today I am proud to say that I accepted an offer. I put myself first. I refused to allow my guilt to keep me in a situation that was not good for my health. I made a decision to make a change and I followed through. For me.
I am nervous and I am scared but I am also proud and very excited. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. Take a risk. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Inspired by A Piece of Advice.