Monday, November 10, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis And Emotions Pt 2

After about four hours of crying, my wife finally managed to get her emotions under control. This was day one of a class we were taking to better understand how children handle emotions and what causes them to act out. That first night my wife and I were exhausted from crying, feeling and just processing everything that was going on around us. We had shared very deep feelings with each other that were all from the gut and were causing both of us fear and pain. We didn't really understand it at the time, but I think we may have found a way to better control our fears and anxiety.

Multiple Sclerosis attacks seem to be brought on by stress and other situations in life. We can pinpoint a physical stress or emotional stress for every attack my wife has ever had. We have also been able to prevent attacks by knowing that certain things would only stress her out more and cause more MS issues. The second day of class was one of the first times that I have ever seen my wife at total peace. We had gone through a very rough few hours in day one and I honestly wasn't looking forward to what we would face in day 2 of the training. We walked through the door to find that we had one more time on the mat to dig deep and let out any fears or feelings we had. My wife went first and I had noticed that she hadn't cried all morning. She cried a little when one of the other participants was sharing and it really touched her heart, but she hadn't cried for herself at all.

When you lay down on the mat to share, your partner supports you both physically and emotionally. We had been laying face to face for about 5 minutes when my wife looked at me and said that she didn't have anything she needed to say. She was at total peace with herself and her life. WOW!!!! I don't know that I have ever seen her that way before. There were no tears and no strong emotions and her body was completely relaxed. We laid there for another 10 minutes just talking about the peaceful feeling she had and how that was affecting her. The weird thing is that I have always been able to look at her eyes and tell you how she was feeling. I could tell if she was hiding anything or holding anything back, and there wasn't anything there. She really was at peace.

Now, that really made me think about her Multiple Sclerosis and healing her body. How would her MS do if she was at peace most of the time? How would her body react to feelings of no stress? Could she progress in the healing of her disease and go longer periods without any problems? Could she contain her emotions better? All of these questions were bouncing around in my brain as I watched her calmness and peace. Healing Multiple Sclerosis is not an easy task, and there are a lot of people out there that are treating Multiple Sclerosis daily that don't seem to know a thing about the disease other than what is in a textbook. I think we found a technique that we can use to truly help heal my wife's MS by eliminating most of the emotional stress in her body. We are going to continue to practice the techniques we learned and if nothing else, it will make my wife at peace. There isn't a whole lot of peace in the life of Multiple Sclerosis, but there will be in our home from now on. I would challenge anyone with MS to try to decrease stress in their lives, and if your brave enough, to get on the mat and see how much your body reacts to all of the stuff you're holding inside.

Multiple Sclerosis And Emotions

My wife has always been emotional. She has cried at the oddest things over the years and has grown angry over things that I wouldn't think really mattered. Mood swings have been a fairly common thing in our marriage, and last week we learned a lot about how the body is affected by those moods. We attended a training for our job to help troubled children with their emotions. The thought process behind the class had to do with a child acting out because they have no other way of processing their feelings. Little did I know that I was doing a horrible job of processing my own feelings.

My wife and I entered the class with some apprehension. There were mattresses in the corner and a group of about 30 other house parents in the room. We knew the class was supposed to help us with children that were suffering from attachement disorders and other disorders that they faced. We spent some time studying how the human brain handles stress and fear and how our bodies are affected by these feelings. I have always known that my wife's emotions and feelings really affected her physically, but I had never seen a presentation like this. We realized in the morning session that our bodies can give off all sorts of indicators that we are stressed, and that we affect the emotions and feelings of everyone around us through our physical actions and movements. Almost as if we give off a subconcious vibe to everyone around us that their subconcious reacts to. Sounds a little weird right?

That afternoon we soon found out exactly what the teacher was trying to get us to understand. Each one of us was placed in a group with a mattress. We then went through a breathing exercise designed to open up our lungs and allow us to feel what was going on in our body. After the breathing exercises we each took turns on the mattress telling a story from our childhood. I found myself lying on the mat telling my story and then I felt a lot of heat radiating from my face. One of the instructions we had been given was to find how our body reacted to the story, so I told the instructor and he also felt the heat. Over the next few hours we were shocked as each person shared about their lives and we could literally feel the heat or other reactions that their bodies were going through.

This was an eye opening experience for my wife and I. I had always known that her Multiple Sclerosis was affected by stress but what I didn't realize was how affected my body was by stress. I had physical hot spots and pain when dealing with some of those feelings. We spent the next day and a half getting in touch with gut level feelings and experiencing how our bodies, minds and others around us felt after these times on the mat. I honestly understand now why stress is causing my wife so many issues. Dr. Swank always told us that one of the first things you had to do if you had MS was to control the stresses in your life. I think I more fully understand that now. My wife's emotions usually come flooding out in crying or anger, and her body is usually punished for it. Sometimes she will lose some feeling or become very fatigued after a stressful situation and then she has to rest for a few days to get it under control. The first day we were in class my wife cried and cried and cried. She explains it as if her body is leaking the tears out because she can't stop them. This was only day one, so we had no idea how she would be affected later.