The Gift of Support

A lot of people with chronic illnesses don’t have the support system they need. How does one get support when they have none?

The internet is a fantastic tool. I have a good support system at home but joining MS groups online has helped me wonders when I feel alone.

Friends are also a good support. If you don’t have family talk to, talk to your friends about having a rough time. If they are true friends they will hold your hand without judgment. These type of friends are wonderful to have.

I’m going to add a list of Facebook groups that have helped me that will hopefully help you if you are in need:

These groups are filled with wonderful people who will give you the support that you need. They may even make you smile! I hope this article serves you well and I wish you the best on your MS journey. My inbox is also always open to anyone who needs it!

With love,

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

What does the “Punk” in “A Punk With MS” mean?

I love punk culture. I’ve loved it since I was a teenager. I love the rebellion, the carefree attitude, the fashion, and the individuality to it. I used to gush over both pop-punk and punk-rock bands in my teens. I wanted to be just like them all. So? I picked up guitar. I don’t play as much as I used to play but I do enjoy singing and strumming sometimes whenever my heart feels the need. Hours of my life have been spent playing the guitar and I’m pretty proud of that fact. The first artists I ever learned to play was Green Day, Good Charlotte, and The Ramones.

Now, I’m going to explain what the “Punk” in A Punk With MS means to me. It doesn’t mean that I’m punk. I am who I am regardless of others opinions of me. I like what I like, and I love who I am. Yes I wear a punk jacket, with all the punk rock bands that I love. It however does not make me punk. I have joked about it, but I genuinely have never considered myself one.

One day I was sitting in my bedroom, thinking of something catchy that would have meaning to it. I needed to find a name that expressed how I felt that would give hope to others. Than? “A Punk With MS” was born!

The “Punk” in A Punk With MS means having a certain attitude. You may be fighting mental health issues, or an invisible illness. In a way, you have to be strong, tough, and to be a “punk” to get through it. You have to grab the bull by the horns and fight your own battle daily. You have to keep your head above water even if some days you feel like giving up and want to just drown.

We are all coming together for the same cause, to get through each day as positively as possible. Every one of my readers means something to me.

At the end of the day, We are all “punks”. Every single one of us.

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Stress and MS

Did you know that stress is terrible for people with MS? It exacerbates the lesions and can make old symptoms reappear. This could cause a flare up or even worse: a relapse!

So how does one person avoid stress in this crazy and busy world?

1. Take time for self care. Everyone needs personal time sometimes. Give yourself your favorite coffee, or read your favorite book!

2. Don’t let the opinions of others cause you emotional pain. It’s not worth your health in the end.

3. Don’t overwork yourself. If you have to do a physical activity be sure to drink lots of water and take breaks. That will lessen the stress on your body.

4. Avoid dwelling on the past or on negative things. That will just upset you to no end. The past is the past and you need to let go and move foreward with your head held high. You are not the person you were yesterday. Grow and learn to be happy with who you are today.

With love,

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Life Update

So, I’ve been quite absent in my blog posts. Life has been pretty crazy and I’ve been trying to get myself situated. My Ocrevus (MS Med) is actually working. I’m still in remission!

After a best friend breakup I moved back home and have been saving money for a new place. I’ve came to realize that in the worst of times family is always there for you. I don’t take that for granted because some people don’t have a support system. This is why I have became a support system for many people around the world on the internet.

I have been crafting a ton lately. I recently crocheted myself a beautiful purple shawl. It helps keep the mind occupied and is quite fun too. I found some stamps at a local thrift store and my mother found a loom for me to knit on. I’ve made one hat on it so far.

One other thing I’ve been up to is penpaling. I find that the old fashioned “snail mail ” is more personal and you can get to know someone through physical writing. It’s a new hobby but I enjoy collecting stickers and all kinds of fun things to send them! I recommend this hobby to anyone. They have Facebook pen pal groups you can join (this is what started my penpal journey in the first place) a lot of the people are super welcoming. I’m in multiple groups!

Hobbies always help me through tough times. I bet it would for you too! What are your hobbies? I’m sorry this blog post isn’t super lengthy. I hope you all have been doing well, I will let you all go for now but I’ll do my best to write more soon. 💓

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Learning to Love Yourself

Recently I have gotten myself out of a relationship, and have been faced with new obstacles. Loving myself is one of them. If you can’t love yourself how can you truly love another person?

Self care is so important, loving yourself is necessary.

Where does one begin?

Reach out to friends and family for support, and learn to love spending time with yourself. Some people have difficulty with this because they’re left with their own thoughts. It can be a challenge.

I have a mood disorder (BPD/Bipolar) that effects me greatly. I try to occupy myself with music and things I enjoy (like photo editing) and to put makeup on because it makes me feel beautiful. I wear clothes that make me feel good as well.

Again, SELF CARE.

when you take care of yourself you begin to bloom and love yourself more everyday.

It’s a journey but one you are not alone on. [:

To whoever is reading this right now, I hope you find true happiness within. I am hoping to find happiness within me too.

With love,

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Fighting Fatigue?

Fatigue is a symptom of MS. The fatigue a lot of us deal with is usually chronic. It doesnt simply go away. But how do you manage such a symptom? How does one accomplish things on a normal level being tired all the time?

The answer? You can’t 100 percent. You can exercise more, eat better, get the rest your body needs but you’ll still probably remain tired on some sort of level. I’m not saying everyone with MS will be fatigued forever because there are people who are just fine in that department. If you’re one of those people than that’s awesome because fatigue is serious symptom that effects quality of life.

My advice? Take short naps if you can, and make sure your stress levels are as low as possible. This will help you manage your fatigue easier.

Keep your sleep schedule consistent so you know how often you are getting tired throughout the day. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your neuro or primary care provider.

If you dont want to sleep, find a task you enjoy and zone out doing it for a while!

I hope these suggestions help, and I hope you can get your fatigue to a minimum! Don’t give up!

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

Productivity While Being On Disability

So, a lot of people think that being on disability is “easy” and that it must be “great” to stay home all the time. This however, is far from the truth.

What happens when you run out of things to occupy your mind? Depression. Being at home all the time is more of a burden, you become isolated from the outside world. If you asked me what being on disability is like, it’s truly one of the most lonely and boring experiences ever. Not working causes self esteem issues. It makes you feel worthless and like a waste of space.

How does one get past this obstacle?

Try to be as productive as possible.

Lately I have been crafting, looking at a local MS group I want to join, and I’ve been reading. It’s hard some days but something such as cleaning can make you feel a lot more productive. Be sure to get out of the house more often too; I’ve been working on this myself.

My best friend had a wonderful idea. I now have a planner. In that planner I have a “to do” list which makes my life a lot brighter. If you make a list or write what you did the entire day you’ll see how even the smallest thing on your list makes you feel knowing that you did something.

Productivity is crucial. Don’t let your depression and disability win. Keep fighting, and keep moving. It’s not going to be easy, but it will most definitely be worth it.

-Rebecca Elizabeth (A Punk With MS)

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