“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” ~ John Lennon
Eight hours at work. One hour in traffic. You want to go to the office holiday party. Your body says you are too tired. But you go anyway. You are young. It’s Friday night. Just got paid. Money already spent on that dress and those boots.
I see you got heels. Should have worn flats. But you are newly diagnosed. Just a rookie. How are you to know.
The closest parking lot is full and valet cost too much. So, you park down the street. After walking three blocks you finally make it to the hotel lobby. A sign in the atrium says the festivities are upstairs. But the elevator is out of order. A thin staircase guides you to the second floor. Wall walking up the stairs. You make it to the next level. Everyone is happy to see you. Old friends and new. But tonight, your best friend will be the closest chair.
Exhausted. You plop down and sink into a nearby leather recliner. Finally giving that foot drop a rest. Right hand grips the chair for balance.
Small talk dominates every conversation. A broken smile glued to your face. Spending most of the night in your own head. Mind on your circumstance. You ask friends to bring you drinks and small bites. They all gladly hunt down the requested tiny sausages and rum & coke. Everything would be perfect if they could also somehow bring the restroom to you.
While you are fighting to stay awake, the makeshift dance floor is lively and full. Everyone is mingling and strolling about. But you don’t dare move. You begin feeling alone in a party filled with people. Not dancing with tears in your eyes.
Glancing around, you notice a peculiar person staring at you from across the room. She is sitting in a chair just like you. Your eye sight is strained but still you recognize the pain in her face. It’s the same as when the doctor’s words changed your life. An overwhelming sadness.
You decide to give a welcoming hello wave. But you stop. You take a pause. You see it’s not another person. It’s your reflection mimicking you from a wooden full-length mirror propped against the wall.
You say to yourself. Is that really me? You realize. I realize. I have become a stranger to myself.
I’m listening, feeling and remembering
I so enjoy your posts about how physically and especially emotionally challenging it can be to be out in the world. We have to choose what we will attend and who will be there to protect us from the ignorant. There are so many Guardian Angels on Earth who care and protect us. ❤️❤️
Agree, felt every movement/non-movement…
I hear your words and know all to well the internal pain of this exact type of event. MS has a knack of removing the joy from a party or similar outing. It is so much simpler and less trauma to stay home. That is a slippery slope to self isolation to preserve your sanity, energy ,,, but you bravely chose to go to the party knowing full well the effort required just to get there let alone remain there. Don’t give in yet …. fight it as long as you can … you look gorgeous by the way and there in lies the problem …. MS IS INVISIBLE until you have a stick or walker or a wheelchair …. don’t become that stranger yet …. my motto use to be ‘move it or lose it’ but 25 years in I now selectively pick my battles and ‘move forward gently’ ….
Wow! I wish I could articulate my feelings as well as you do. Thank you
Very powerful writing Nicole. Thanks for sharing.