I struggled with the very same issues you described in your post, both while still dragging myself through each workday with Multiple Sclerosis and after finally declaring myself disabled and no longer able to hold a full-time job. There absolutely was a period of time during which I was terrified, at a loss about how to fill my long long days, mad as hell, and all the rest that goes along with those thoughts and feeling states.
But then one day, while at the grocery store no less, it dawned on me that I was pushing my cart and shopping at a very leisurely pace -- meaning, I hadn't just run in after a full day at work to pick up a few things to eat that were less than healthy because I was too tired to cook a decent meal once I finally got home. I stood there and realized that I could take as long as I wanted to complete this shopping trip, which meant I could browse, consider new items, check nutrition labels more thoroughly, compile new menu ideas, wow -- I now had time in a new place.
Eventually I found myself actually enjoying doing ordinary daily tasks with a sense of fun. Writing notes in greeting cards, instead of merely signing my name, called upon creative writing skills. Washing the dishes as it's own task, while not also conducting a phone conversation and doing a load of laundry, helped me to finally get a grip on the Zen concept. Being able to spontaneously stop at a favorite store to casually browse a sale during an uncrowded weekday afternoon was a gift. Sitting in my cushy lounge chair, feet up and eyes closed, musing toward a lite nap in broad daylight -- wow.
MS gave me time! Of course the time was always present, but more often than not it was filled with so many events, tasks, worries, responsibilities and distractions that enjoyment of the process wasn't possible -- there was always too much, it was too demanding, and it moved way too fast.
MS continues to fill my time with difficulties as well. I'm not overlooking that having more time to limp down the hallway with my quad cane is something I did not choose, nor does today's cheek to toe numbness on my right side invite the stuff of essays. But I am thankful that I have time to accommodate those limiters, and that I will also enjoy reading more of a great novel later.
I wish you enjoyment of the gift of time as you accept and adapt to the challenges of your disability.
Well said. I also went through the transition from working as a full time RN to being disabled. My mom always said you can have money or time, but seldom both. She was right, but now I enjoy the time I have been given.
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