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NO MORE 4-LETTER WORDS (Stop Being Pinocchio!)

Give yourself the gift of asking for help when you need it!

 

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Ahh, the dreaded 4-letter words…not the ones that you probably thought of first, but I’d bet money that you know them well: “Fine” and “Okay.”  The ones that we use when people ask us how we’re doing with the MS and how we’re feeling in general.  The ones that we feel that we have to use because “girls shouldn’t say things that will upset other people,” “girls should’t use profanity,” and “girls should always be ‘nice’ (yet another 4-letter word).”  But, are you really feeling “fine” or “okay”…or are you feeling like crap, feeling angry, feeling scared, feeling exhausted, feeling like your world has been turned upside down, feeling devastated, feeling like crying, or feeling like this is all a bunch of unfair BS?  I bet some of those latter ones hit closer to home as being true than “fine” or “okay.”

As women, we tend to feel obligated to put on a brave face and worry more about others first; and that can often mean not being honest with them (or even ourselves) about how we’re really doing with our MS.  Many of us have also been programmed to devalue our feelings, keep them hidden, or to even feel guilty or ashamed of how we’re really feeling. I know how the issues of gratitude, perspective and guilt come into play here because I grapple with those constantly: The guilty, ashamed feeling of “How can I complain when there are others with and without MS who are doing so much worse than I am?  I should be grateful that I’m not worse.”  Believe me, I get it.  But, the guilt and shame are like we’re scolding ourselves for feeling what we’re feeling and simultaneously belittling what are truly valid feelings.  Besides, how well has it been working to try to constantly prop yourself up with “Well, at least I’m not worse?”  Ugh. Every time that I think it, I know that it’s true; but it can’t erase the distress that caused me to summon that perspective in the first place, and I still continue to feel kind of bad, anyway.  Sometimes, having gratitude and perspective isn’t enough to make us truly feel “fine” or “okay.” 

It’s absolutely true that we have reasons to be grateful, and both gratitude and perspective are important tools to help us manage the BS of MS; but, constantly downplaying the importance of our own feelings and the reality of what we’re experiencing is an unkindness to ourselves. It also can cause us to have to carry the burden of the BS of MS alone. If we present so well and always offer up these 4-letter-word answers, then not only do we isolate ourselves in dealing with our “stuff,” but people will also assume that we really ARE “fine” and don’t need help when the truth might actually be otherwise.

So, let’s stop using those 4-letter words as an automatic response, and let’s start being honest about how we’re really doing.  Let’s be kind to ourselves in acknowledging that our feelings and experiences are valid, and let’s ask for support and help when we need it.

 

GET A FREE COPY OF MY AMAZON #1 BESTSELLER!

"OVERCOME THE BS OF MS: A 3-STEP PLAN FOR WOMEN LIVING WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS"

it's free!
100% Privacy Guaranteed.