It’s been almost two years since I was diagnosed with a rare condition called Ataxia. I can only compare the journey I’ve been on to a long road. It’s been far from ideal. Bumpy at times. Smooth at others. Always interesting.
I look back to the few years before I was diagnosed. They seem a world away from where I am now. I was under a lot of strain. I can see that I was gravely depressed. I was eating too much, drinking too much and partying too much. The depression was due in part to the disease I have, but also due to the fact that I was not doing anything purposeful with my life. The excesses were a symptom of me just not caring anymore.
I was riddled with health issues. I was had unpredictable balance. I was losing some coordination. I was noticing hand tremors. Headaches, stomach pain, fatigue were frequent occurrences. I would stay in bed more and more, not talk to anyone. I lost motivation for even those things I loved. To numb the pain of it all, I ate, drank, watched too much TV, slept around. At the time, it was all pretty chaotic.
When I was first diagnosed, I was deeply stressed. I was not prepared for the news I got. I was told that there was nothing I could do and there was nothing I should stop doing because what I had was incurable.
Looking back, I find it all pretty funny. But, I have that luxury because that part of my life is over.
I’m doing several things now to keep myself relatively stress-free and positive.
I do my best to eat clean. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I avoid pre-packaged foods and foods with preservatives (which I don’t always stick to). I don’t eat much red meat. I consume a lot of good fats like coconut oil, avocados and walnut oil. I’m not as strict as I once was in this department. Although I realize diet is important, I don’t live in fear of straying every now and then.
I work out intensely. I go to the gym 6 days a week. I weight train 5 days a week. I slowly increase the weight or complexity of exercises to keep me challenged. I also help with Muay Thai classes in the evenings, three times a week.
I always have a smile on my face. I relax. And laugh a lot. I pray and meditate every morning when I get up and every night before I go to bed. I think about the day a little, think about what I’m grateful for. But, I do my best to not to think too much. I’ve found much peace in that quiet time.
I’ve simplified my life. I focus on only what is important. That’s maybe 5 things. The noise and distractions of the world cause me to lose the voice I have inside me. Now, I don’t watch TV. I don’t read the newspaper. I have cut out most social gatherings and avoid negative conversations. Basically, I quit everything.
I actively pursue my life’s purpose. It’s why I’m here – I think. I feel am in a unique position to share a message of hope.
I have only good feelings about what is to come. I am focused on building up this site so that I can help others in any capacity. I work on improving myself a little each day.
I work on improving myself a little each day. Sometimes I struggle, but I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
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