People often use alive and living interchangeably. I would disagree and say they are two different things. Everyone is alive, but not everyone chooses to truly live. Being alive is your heart beating and your lungs breathing. Being alive can be waking up, going to work, coming home, watching tv, going to bed, and repeating the routine in the morning. Living is actually experiencing life. It’s more than just breathing in and out. It is about the moments. It’s about creating memories that will last the rest of your life. Living allows you to feel everything; the good and the bad. It’s loving people so passionately that your heart may explode. Living reminds you of why being alive is so precious.
I found myself just being alive for a while. I did what I needed to get by, to pay the bills, to function, but I wasn’t living. I woke up from this state a few months ago when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and decided it was time to take my life into my own hands and simply live.
My world was turned upside down last April when I went blind in my right eye. The life I was living, that I thought I was going to have, was completely gone. After weeks of testing and many doctors’ visits, I was diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune disease that attacks your brain and spinal cord. I went through every emotion possible when this happened. I was in denial at first, and honestly thought it was all just a bad dream. When reality set in, I fell into a deep depression. For weeks I didn’t talk to anyone. I went to work and stayed in bed. After I was able to get myself out of this low, my rage set in. I was furious this was happening and that I had no control over it. I lashed out at everyone around me, I hated myself, and I especially hated God. This was not His Will as many people would like to tell me. God doesn’t make people sick. This disease was a not a blessing. It was tragic and it was happening to me. And you know what? ALL of these emotions were okay for me feel and to experience. I had to mourn. I had to grieve. I had to be angry. My life was never going to be the same. I would have never accepted my situation without going through these emotions first.
Because I was going through all of this, I woke up. I realized I had been taking my life for granted. Taking my body for granted. Over the years I have been fueling my body with terrible processed, sugary, and unhealthy food. I wasn’t exercising as much as I should. I wasn’t practicing mindfulness. I wasn’t loving myself. Being diagnosed with MS numbed me to the core, but if there is one positive I can bring from it: it pushed me to start living.
This blog, Simply Living, is going to be a personal ongoing testimony of my life. I have made many changes in my life including: healthier eating habits, exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness, and overall just living and experiencing life more. I want to share these experiences and be able to give tips on what works for me. Healthy living can be viewed as boring, but once again I would have to disagree. Anyone can choose to live poorly and in today’s world it is very easy to fall into those patterns. Simply living is an adventure. It is challenging, but so incredibly rewarding.
I hope this blog inspires and encourages others to take their life into their own hands and choose more than being alive. Life is short and it took me being diagnosed with an awful disease to actually see and appreciate that. Change can be scary, the unknown is scary. I am true believer in living in the moment but also in being mindful of how your decisions now can affect you in 10-20 years. I have decided to not this disease define who I am now and who I want to be in the future. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, etc.: do not let it define you. Do not let it control your life. Take control of your own life and choose to simply live.
Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.