Sarah Lysne: The joy of just being

Published 5:51 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

When I was first diagnosed with ALS, I spent a lot of time trying to stay positive and happy.  I didn’t want my friends or family to know that I sometimes felt sad or afraid. When my therapist asked me why I was doing this I told her I was protecting them. I didn’t want any of them to experience those same feelings.

My therapist told me that I didn’t need to protect them. She pointed out that everyone I was trying to protect is an adult and they can take care of their own feelings. I felt a sigh of relief after she pointed this out, but changing this habit was going to be a challenge for me.

It has taken me three years to learn this, but I can honestly say that I am letting the people in my life take care of their own feelings.  I stopped doing a job that I alone had assigned myself to do.

Another thing I’ve learned is to just “BE.” What does that mean exactly?  To me it means I don’t put a lot of energy into making sure I am always happy. I’ve decided it is perfectly acceptable to feel neutral, neither happy or sad.

I also decided that if I have a bad day, and I’m feeling sad, I don’t have to pretend that I’m not.

This has definitely been a hard lesson for me to learn.  But, now I realize that when I am able to show my true feelings, I am taking care of myself.

I am grateful that most days I get up, count my blessings, and enjoy the day.