March 30, 2018
I've never really been one to complain. I mean sure, everyone complains, I don't deny I've had my times where I gripe and vent.; but I've at least tried to be a positive person overall. Even though I'm a musician, singer, songwriter, and performer, I'm an introvert. I have never been comfortable with the self-promotion that is necessary in order to keep playing music and performing. Usually, I only share personal struggles with those closest to me.
The past several years, I've undergone quite a change internally. I have experienced some of the toughest and darkest days of my life. I've spent a lot of time alone, which caused me to do some serious evaluations of my self and my way(s) of thinking. When your thoughts are all you have left, it forces you to either give up or adapt. I didn't give up, but I can't truthfully say it wasn't very tempting to do so at times.
I have publicly stated that I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but I have tried not to be too negative about it. Sometimes, that is a very difficult thing to do. MS is a bastard that takes everything from you that you've always known, leaving you to fend for yourself entirely.
Pride in one's self and character is something I've tried to maintain my whole life. That's a tough one as well when you struggle with self-confidence. However, it is worth the struggle because having a certain pride will help you hold yourself to a certain standard of behavior. That being said, Pity is something I have never wanted. I still don't.
In my self-promotion for my music, I have not shared very much at all about my MS and its symptoms. I've never wanted it to seem like I was trying to “use” my disease for gain. My thinking on sharing some of my struggles with MS has changed some though.
Since I do try to be a positive influence on the world and those around me, I have realized that it might be encouraging to anyone else out there who has gone, or is going, through the same struggle. Instead of thinking I'm being a “negative Nancy”, I'm now seeing it as just plain ol being real. That's easier said than done.
It isn't an easy thing to open yourself up and show the world your worst side. We, as humans, try to show how awesome we are doing, give only the best impression of ourselves. One of the hardest things for me to do is roll over and expose my vulnerable spots.
With all that in mind, I'll be more open in the future about my disease, the resulting symptoms, and the difficulties that accompany them. Never with the intent to whine or complain, but to hopefully show more of what life is like. My intended end-result will be to show others who are struggling that they aren't alone. I hope and pray they will be encouraged by it, and hope that the folks that don't have to deal with such a huge issue can have more understanding.