Posted by: sistermom1 | August 25, 2010

Emotional GPS

This journey has forced me to learn a new way to navigate around many things — not only physically, but emotionally as well.  I have been forced into so many new directions, that I need a GPS to move around.   The terrain of my life has changed dramatically since my diagnosis.  As a result,  a new map is absolutely required.  It’s kind of like how the world map changed when the old Soviet Union was split.  I am learning my way around a host of new aspects of old issues including: 

 Family (One example):  We have a daughter who is just beginning her own journey through tween-hood and adolescence.  She is a lovely, intelligent, articulate girl with a close-knit group of very good friends.  Her moodiness is a real change in our relationship, and the nature of our typical interactions (“How was school today?” “Fine” — no hug and kiss as she goes directly to her room…) has changed dramatically and almost instantaneously.  We have been so close up to this time — talking about anything and everything — and I have come to rely heavily on her help as we manage my disability.  Although I have been working not to take this change as a rejection, friends have told me that this is not as unusual as I think – that they all have gone through it with their daughters.  That this is not a reflection of her embarassment over how different things are for our family than for those of her friends.  I could use a GPS to help me navigate through this one….

Friendships:  I have written before about how my diagnosis changed most of my friendships — in good and bad ways.  Over the past two years, my physical limitations have been challenging for me to manage, and that has definitely impacted my ability to “be there” for my friends in the way that I am used to being.  My new reality has put me in a position where I need to rely on my friends more than I ever have before.  This not only has impacted my ego and my definition of friendship, but it has also affected my standards of how I can be a good friend.  GPS anyone?????

On a different friendship note: I do believe that it is very important for me to express gratitude for anything that anyone does to help me.  As a result, I often find myself thanking everyone for everything they do  — no matter how small.  On the surface, that is not a bad thing, but people often tell me that it is not necessary to thank them.  But what should I do?  I do not want to appear like a prideless synchophant, but I DO appreciate all of the help they give me.  What is the best way for me to navigate this?

Professional relationships:  My experience with MS has left me unable to do the work that I have done for over 20 years.  I was approved for Disability payments last year, which is a great thing that I deeply appreciate for myself and my family.  Since I am really limited physically, I am unable to participate in the social, political and corporate events that I have attended consistently over the years.  This keeps me out of the general “loop” with limited face time, and contributes to my depression about how I will ever be able to overcome the limitations that I am experiencing and make some financial contribution to our household.   Who am I now that I cannot work?  How can I make a difference in the world without my professional “handle”  on which to hang my hat?  What do I have to offer to my past clients and contacts that will keep me in the forefront of their minds? 

These are examples of the things that I am considering during this journey.  An emotional GPS could be perfect in these situations and many of the others that I face.  Since I have not yet heard of this type of GPS, I am relying on the wisdom that my faith and my daily practice uncover to help me navigate this new terrain.  I will let you know when I have reached my destination….. 



  1. Dear SisterMom1,

    I do hope that you will move aggressively on your depression issue and secure appropriate medication for this right NOW!
    You don’t have to go down this lane w/pain and self-doubt.Medication for depression can help you out
    and then you can begin to truly navigate the many twists and turns of your detour.As the daughter of a health care professional( Doctor) you know more than most the need for seeking the proper treatment. Much as I would like to say it is so, spiritual enlightnment does not cure depression. And it can be cured!Not poutting down spiritual enlightnment or New Age methodologies-there is a place for everything but for right now, as you battle your way out of darkness-stick with modern science and get some depression medication -quick,fast and in a hurry!



    • Thanks Lady Crusader DC,
      I do appreciate your support. You know the challenges full well, and I will take your advice and move forward to address the depression that I experience from time to time. Along with doing that, the spiritual component of my journey will definitely continue to support my progress….

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