Saturday, September 8, 2012

There's No Crying In MS!

In fact, one of my biggest mantras has always been:

I won't cry over it, because it doesn't deserve my tears!

I'm talking about voluntary tears here, not the pseudobulbar kind ;-)

In any case, I went grocery shopping this week. While that, in itself, is enough to make any of us cry, I really haven't ever been brought to tears over it. This time was different.

MS has been toying around with my emotions again. I find myself constantly having to lift these thoughts and feelings up the Lord, asking Him to show me what is legit and what is not. This is the first week of school for my now-high-schooler and my in-the-middle-of-middle-schooler. My kids are growing up. I'm missing my previous students and coworkers. I'm also missing things I've never missed, like my kids' athletic events. I know, I know...99% of working moms are in this boat with me. It's just something I'll need to get used to and I will, but not before it's done hurting for a little. The saving grace is that I'm not hard-pressed to see my abundant blessings through these changes:-)

In any case, I was contemplating 'the meaning of it all' whilst hurrying through the store (wanted to get home to my kids) and overheated myself...because I happened to need nearly every item ever packaged for resale throughout the store on this particular grocery run. To top it off? The 35ct case of bottled water my husband wrote on the top of my list. In capitals. "WATER!!!"


By the time I got to the checkout, I was dizzy, physically exhausted, and my eyesight was dancing around a la nystagmus. I loaded the contents of my cart onto the belt and nearly fell over from the 58 repetitions of 'down/up/down/up'. I caught myself by clutching onto the side of the counter and thought I pulled it off well, but the woman behind me noticed, which caused her to keep a close eye on me the rest of the transaction. From the sideways looks she gave, it was clear to me that she assumed I came to the store straight from happy hour.

As luck would have it, there was no bagger at the end of the line and I knew that I was in no shape to do it. I decided I needed to take control of the situation...I told the cashier..."I have MS. I need help. I need someone to bag up my stuff."

:::anyone who knows me? Knows how huge it was for me to ask for help:::

The woman behind me relaxed her eyes from the 'I can't believe this drunk woman is in front of me' to 'I want to help this woman' gaze. She offered to follow me out and put my things into my car, but I had already played my 'I Need Help' card for the day. I'm too prideful to play more than one, you see. I thanked her and told her how much I appreciated it, but I would be alright. I lied.

Made it to my car by resting the weight of my entire torso on the handle of my cart. I used my key-operated, automatic lift gate feature for the 1st time in years and gave thanks for my husband, who only allowed me to buy this car because of that feature. As I leaned on my car and cart, slowly hoisting bags to and fro, I began to feel sorry for myself.


Yeah, I did. And that totally allowed those ugly thoughts to come rushing forth. The tears started. And fell. But I still kept slowly placing bags in my car. Hiding behind my opened liftgate and darkened windows so that no one could see the insane, crying woman. I thought to myself, "ugh...I hate having ms! This sucks!!!" And the floodgates opened. I was 'ugly crying'. I knew it was time to take action...

I battled the tears with praises to the Lord. Stuff like: "thank You, Lord, for these groceries for which I am floating a check to pay for" and "thank You, Lord, for the family I am taking them home to" and "thank You for the home You enable us to keep" and "thank You for the job I have just come from" and "thank You for loving me the way You do".  For loving me the way He does.  Unconditionally. Through every moment of 'up', but especially through every moment of 'down'.

The tears eventually dried up. My shirt? Took a little while longer. But maybe 2 complete sobfests in 13yrs isn't so wrong, especially if I'm led to praise the Lord in the midst of them. Because come on, I think we can all agree that ms does suck.

But He is faithful. I thank Him for that :-)