BEING BRAVE DAVE: Lessons Learned by Dave
You have to learn how to accept help from people. It's a skill you develop through the school of hard knocks. MS is a good disease for learning humility, but it was very difficult at first. Things may not always be done to your satisfaction, but you can't insist on perfection. You might feel vindicated but end up making people mad and end up with the thing not getting done.
My daughter has taught me this as much as anybody. I can say, "Clean up your room" in a way that dissolves her into tears—or in a way that results in a clean room.
I've given up feeling embarrassed about people helping me, but I have only a few people do this. At the same time, you want your network to be as wide as possible, because vacations and things come up, so you need backup. It's similar to that African saying, because "it takes a village" to support a handicapped person.
Good friends are hard to find. You keep them longer if you stay positive. They're your friends, not a dumping ground for your woes. I also found early on that the way you feel physically is an exact barometer of how you feel mentally; depression fuels the progress of the disease.
The thing that disturbs me is that, as friends get older and have bad backs r shoulders, they don't call, because they're afraid to say no to me. I can deal with the fact that time moves on and that things aren't the same, but friends can be there for you in other ways, just by calling.
My eyes don't focus well enough for me to read comfortably, so I listen to books on tape, a lot of inspirational stuff. My computer is voice-activated, and I like to send emails to friends. I also write short stories and write in my journal. "Catharsis" is in your head.