I don’t like being vulnerable. Who does. But vulnerability counts. In many ways. Across many avenues of life.
Take blogging. It’s about giving yourself to others. An act of generosity as Jean-Luc Boissonneault writes. Because trust happens “when you’re generous.” (Nicely said, Jean-Luc.)
Well, that kind of generosity can be hard. Giving myself to others (in that way) is not something I’ve been willing to do. For many reasons.
Here’s one: it means people see me. They may be sympathetic. Judging. Disinterested. I don’t know. They may even commiserate or empathize.
It’s a risk though.
Letting people see me, letting others in, is hard. I don’t like it.
I haven’t confessed much here
I named this blog Confessions of a social media junkie and yet, when I look back on what I’ve written…I haven’t confessed much. Not truly. (Except for this one time…)
The reason I haven’t truly shared here is because I’m a big chicken.
I don’t want you to see that I don’t have it together all the time. I struggle. With parenthood, couple-hood, adulthood. All the ‘hoods, really.
My life is good and blessed in so many ways. And these burdens, their weight is no heavier than yours. They’re merely different.
I have so much to be grateful for. So much so, that sharing what isn’t working and what is a struggle feels like an ungrateful act.
I also haven’t confessed much here because my life story is intertwined with the lives of others – and their stories are not mine to share.
So do I tell the half story? The split truths that aren’t lies but are more like stories with missing chapters?
I’ve come to realize the answer is yes. Because I need to. My brain is so full of words and thoughts I
want need to dump them out even if they don’t make sense to anyone else but me.
So here’s a confession
My husband has multiple sclerosis (MS). It sucks.
That’s not the confession part though.
What is difficult to admit is how hard it is to watch my husband battle this disease. How exhausted he is from the simplest of tasks. Walking a few short steps is like running a marathon.
You might think I’m exaggerating. But I’m not.
That fatigue is the hardest for people to understand. Me included.
My husband is a guy who had natural athletic ability. He basically took to any sport he played.
I’ve always found it equally impressive as it was annoying because I’m uncoordinated and have to work hard at developing athletic skill at the most basic of levels.
It is incredibly difficult to watch my husband lose not just his ability to play any sport he wants, but to lose the ability to stand more than five minutes. To have difficulty writing a sentence. To no longer physically participate in the maintenance of our home.
While many people know MS exists, they don’t know a lot about it.
How this disease attacks each person differently. How the pace of that attack can come in spits and spurts or in a slow, steady creep of decline.
My husband is on that slow, steady creep of decline.
Kind, well-intentioned people in our lives will ask – well, what if he just exercised more? Ate the right kinds of foods? Tried that vitamin or this medication?
It is an unfortunate truth that he is doing all that he can and this disease is still coming out on top.
And so we adjust. We modify our lives and our schedules to accommodate and enable my husband as much as possible.
It means I need to lead the running of our house and family. From errands to school pick up. From house maintenance to sports commitments and playdate fun.
I’m tired. But I’m also grateful.
Because as much as this disease is stripping a lot away from our family, our family is still here. My husband still contributes in many ways. MS has not ripped away his humour or intellect, his love or patience.
We are still a family. Intact. We’ve merely adjusted to a new way of being.
And being open about this journey is something I’ve learned is incredibly important.
So today, my confession is that life is not easy with this disease. But we’ve learned a lot from it. Acceptance. The power of humour. Perseverance. And patience.
There. I’ve shared a piece of me and my life here on this blog. I hope you see it as an act of generosity like Jean-Luc suggested. And that from it, you take away some feeling of goodness in your heart.