Little Miss Judgey Pants
Have you ever met someone and thought, I don’t know how they do it? Their story of what they have achieved with their life, or what they manage to fit within their day astounds you. How do they manage to get all that done and still remain so positive and focused? Or possibly its been the opposite, you have met someone and thought why are they not able to achieve more? They don’t seem to do anything with their time! I know I have met people and thought those very things.
Since being diagnosed with MS I know I think them less, for I too have been on the receiving end of those questions/statements (because most times they are not actually asking!) though every once in a while Little Miss Judgy Pants rears her head and those thoughts appear again. All too often I have been asked, ‘how do you do it?’ or ‘why couldn’t you just do that as well?’ and it is when I hear these questions, I think to myself, because I just do or I just have no time left. Sometimes I find myself justifying the why, and then I feel bad for having to justify myself and my life choices. It can create this whirlpool of emotions, which can have me questioning myself for days.
Part of the process of dealing with the grief associated with my diagnosis of MS, I found that I needed to acknowledge what I was able and unable to do. This was in no way to set limitations on myself. It was more to gauge my mental and physical capacity so that I could work out my base line. Once I found the boundaries of my capacity level I was able to more easily accept help, and assess where my priorities where. It also gave me permission to say, No! Such a simple word, which had become so hard for me to say.
Another interesting thing happened after I started to trust myself to gauge my own capacity. I became aware of other peoples capacity levels in life. Those questions would often come up for me when I met people. ‘How do they do so much?’ ‘Why aren’t they doing more?’ I wish I could do that!’ There may have even been a few ‘its not fairs’ thrown in there for good measure as well!
You see when Little Miss Judgy Pants came out what was actually happening was I was comparing my own capacity in life to that of another persons. Which is unfair to myself and to them. There is this expectation that just because I can, they can or vice versa! When in reality, a persons capacity emotionally and physically has been built on so many things. Each persons life experience uniquely different, which leads to their own way of coping or not coping with the demands that life presents them.
Part of accepting that MS was in my life now, I had to become comfortable with the knowledge that my capacity in life and ability to achieve things, is not comparable to anyone else! Regardless of whether you have MS or not, able bodied, disabled bodied. What one person can or cannot do, is not something to be measured against, a standard scale of expectation. One persons capacity can shift and change as life shifts and changes, an ever moving goal post which sometimes seems to never stand still.
So now when I meet someone, if Little Miss Judgey Pants rears her head, I settled her down, put her back in her corner and say to myself. We are all doing the best we can, with the tools we have. Its just that some peoples tool boxes are bigger than others!