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Life With MS: How I Sustain My Motivation

This week’s post is part of A Chronic Voice’s October Linkup Party which is a monthly get together for people with chronic illness to share and learn from each other’s experiences.

October’s Writing Prompts were:

  • Inspiring
  • Dreaming
  • Reducing
  • Creating
  • Listening

My response to this month’s writing prompt is about how I maintain motivation despite my MS.

Enjoy 🙂Life With MS: How I Sustain My Motivation

Life With MS: How I Sustain My Motivation

Living with a Chronic Illness can be exhausting and finding motivation to keep on fighting can sometimes be difficult. And when your illness is incurable you can sometimes find yourself running very low on motivation. I can certainly feel this way, especially when symptoms hold me back.

Staying motivated is an essential part of keeping myself well in both body and mind.

So how do I keep myself motivated?

Listening to my bodyLife with MS: Listen to your body

Listening to my body and paying attention to the signals it’s giving motivates me to respond to its needs. Like when it tells me it’s tired. If I pay attention to the aches and pains and address its complaints, rather than pushing through, I can reduce the amount of time I need to spend recovering somewhat. My body is the vessel that will take me through life. It may be a little defective, but it’s the only one I have. So when it signals me to slow down, now I listen, and I slow down.

Reducing the unnecessary

We accumulate so much ‘stuff’ in life, and some of that ‘stuff’ comes in the form of emotional baggage.

I was so weighed down by emotional baggage during the first years of my diagnosis. Holding on to memories of the past. Letting go of that baggage was such an essential step in moving forward. Once I did, I realised it had held me back quite a lot. I went through a bit of a cleanse of all those old memories that were useless to hold on to. Once I had liberated myself of that baggage, I was able to start anew and was free to design my life any way I wanted.

Finding a creative outlet

Part of letting go of my emotional baggage involved finding a way of channelling those thoughts and memories into a more positive and productive way. Creative outlets are great for this sort of things, so I decided to start writing. I would jot down thoughts at first. Whatever came to mind. Then when I started blogging it was things I wanted to say or talk about. Somethings I write never sees the light of day, but most of it ignites my motivation and leads me to yet another thing I want to learn or write about.

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms, but for me, the greatest inspirations came in the way of other people’s stories. Hearing about how others defy the odds or combat adversity gives me back the confidence that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. These stories not only motivated me but they also inspired me to become a peer worker and the reason I started blogging. I also wanted to add my own stories to that pool of inspiration and help others like me.

Never stop dreamingLife With MS: Always have a dream

Always have a dream, something you want to reach for.

My goals can be big or small it doesn’t matter. I just make sure that I have at least one achievable goal every day. I also have at least one big ‘blue sky’ seemingly impossible dream. A dream I may never accomplish but it acts as a guiding light, and for each small achievable goal I complete, I’m a little bit closer to my ‘blue sky’ dream.

A constant source of motivation is as essential to me as air, and when I first became unwell, I had lost my motivation for all things. I think that is normal when you are dealt with such a major blow.

The good news is that you can find motivation again.

If you find that you have lost your motivation give some of these methods a try:

  • let go of past pain and regrets
  • Keep a journal or just write whatever comes to mind.
  • Read or listen to something inspirational.

With enough sustenance, your motivation can endure the many tests chronic illness can bring.

Stay strong 🙂

Chiara

Coming Up Next Week

Next week I’ll be sharing my 3 pieces of advice for those newly diagnosed with MS. This is a piece that has been inspired by Shift MS’s YouTube Channel MS Reporters.

Shift MS is a social network for people with MS, and they also hold regular MS chats on twitter.

So in the meantime, be sure to check out the fantastic work they do

And

Subscribe or follow me if you’d like updates when future posts become available.

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6 Comments »

  1. Yes! Reducing emotional baggage has been a process of mine over the past year as well. I’ve written about it as working through the five stages of grief. You’re so right, certain memories are just baggage and letting them go allows us to focus on new creative efforts. Blogging has been a great outlet for me as well. As hard as this all is, it is nice to find others who are facing the same. My best to you!

    • Thank you so much for your kind message. Totally agree wouldn’t wish this on anybody but there is a comfort in knowing you are not alone.

  2. I really enjoyed your take on responding to these prompts through a single theme. Reducing emotional baggage is so important. Weighing yourself down with “I remember when I could…” types thoughts only makes it harder move forward and make progress in our recoveries.

  3. Really great responses. I have ME/CFS, and I have also found that listening to my body has been one of the most effective ways to manage my illness. As someone who previously lived a fast paced life, it wasn’t so easy at first to learn slow down, but I soon realised just how essential it was to pace myself. I love the idea of your ‘blue sky’ dream! I agree it’s so important to have dreams and to find little ways we can work towards them 😊

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