One of the many fun aspects of MCS is how much your body betrays you.You try to go do normal things, things you could do before, things that everybody else still does, and your body freaks out. You try different treatments and therapies and you make progress and then your body suffers a significant setback and you don’t know what triggered it. It does not foster a healthy body image. Or a positive mind body connection.
Now let me be very clear on my language here. It feels like my body betrays me. I know that it does not have any choice in the matter. MCS is a very real, increasingly prevalent, illness. Because the medical community is still struggling with etiology, it remains misunderstood and misdiagnosed. I do not want to go into the social and political history of the illness here but let me say this. Anybody who wants to throw around the phrase somatoform disorder in conjunction with Environmental Illness can kiss my a**. Nobody, nobody, would create, even subconsciously, this disease. Nobody would want to live like this.
So when I say betray, that is what it feels like. Not what is happening. What is happening is we have put more chemicals into our modern world than our bodies can safely process. And some of us, thanks to genetics and the right combination of exposures, are developing this illness a generation or two before the rest of the world. Modern chemicals and pharmaceuticals betrayed me, I suppose, but they are so hard to talk to. And I see my body every day, so it gets a lot more of the figurative blame.Because it doesn’t do what I want it to, when I want it to. It keeps me from my son’s award ceremony and my daughter’s recital. When I try to work, it develops some awful new symptom so that I am embarrassed and have to break a commitment.
I live in paradise (Anna Maria Island)) so I have many opportunities to use my body to feed my soul – I sail, paddle board,bike, walk and do yard work and I appreciate my body’s ability to indulge my bliss that way. But it does not provide enough counter balance for the resentment I feel towards my body. For that I need a dance class, which has become some form of anger management for me. It is an hour and half of my mind reclaiming dominance over my body. And since it is a limited space and time and format, I can usually guarantee a mental victory. Sure, there are 43 year old body limits and yes, there are some days MCS makes me too sick to make it to class. But for the most part, I get in a studio and I tell my body what to do and it does it. I cannot express how immensely gratifying that is. If you have seen the movie Tombstone, it’s like when they ask if Wyatt Earp is after revenge and Doc Holliday clarifies, “It’s a reckonin”. Just like that, with ballet shoes.
If today’s post seems a bit dark…well it might be. I felt the need to rant a bit before next week when we all be obliged to be thankful. And I have a lot to be thankful for; it’s just that a little time indulging in my control issues helps keep my Tilted Life in perspective.