Get on with It

MB responded to a tweet of mine.  I thought those electronic outbursts would only be read on Mars in the next millennium.  “On Twitter you asked if we get weary of the fight. Yes. It’s mentally and physically exhausting most days and after nine years I still find myself imagining myself in situations where I’m well” MB writes. “  That’s when emotional weariness creeps in. But everyday I regroup and refocus my attention on the many positives in my life.”

After forty years, I get it.  I, too,  am tired of the struggle, bone weary.  The sameness of every day’s assault is numbing.  I went for a walk with a neighbor yesterday.  We set out on a quiet path along the Hudson River.  it was a sunny morning, full of promise, a new day.  I made it fifty yards before frantically searching for a something o sit on.  A picnic table, even a tree stump.

I had run out of fuel.  I am such a creature of denial.  I was going to walk the full loop.  I had not taken walks all winter.  Too much snow.  This would be my day.  I know.  Expectations are a dangerous game .  I never learn.  My spirit was as low as the gas in my tank.  Sometimes my denial is so reflexive, I forget to factor in reality.

“So you had a pulmonary embolism a few weeks ago and almost cashed in your chips.  The clot may be breaking up, but it still is in your lung,” my friend said. He stared at me in disbelief.  “And now you have shingles and feel the pain”  Oh, that.

It seems to be true that many or all of us hit heartbreak Hill in our involuntary marathons.  It is inevitable.  The thought of continuing the race is tough to take.  That blood clot pushed me close to the edge.  Usually memories of all our past struggles are locked away in a special place.  I picture a toxic waste dump more than a jeweled box.  A few weeks ago they escaped like fumes.

So again comes the challenge.  I am confidant I am not the first to feel the rock closing in on the hard place.  It takes incredible emotional and physical strength to get up off the canvas.  The fight is not over until we hear the bell ring ten times.  We must get back to work.  I feel terribly self-indulgent when I reach this state.  There is work to do.

MB concludes, “Like you [have] said, what else can we do but get on with it?”

6 Responses to Get on with It

  1. Mark April 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    I did a Google search on the word “Tired” and found a site that identified “22 ways to tackle life’s biggest energy zapper’s.” The article mentioned the benefits of doing good things. Thank you for writing. It is a very good thing, Richard. I hope you draw some energy from it. Thank you for the stem cell trial, of course. I could go on and on. You get the picture. Thank you….keep writing, please.

    • Richard M. Cohen April 24, 2014 at 8:23 am #


      Thank you. I could not stop if I wanted. I agree. Feel well by doing good.


  2. David April 24, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Tired of the struggle, bone weary, I feel the same all the time. We look to each other for inspiration.
    You give it to me in all of your writing because your honesty sometimes makes me cringe but your courage makes me want to be stronger too.
    A quote I feel compelled to learn from
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”
    Winston Churchill

    I wish for you another walk along the Hudson when you can go just as far as you want
    We will Never, ever, ever ,ever, ever, ever, ever give up

    • Richard M. Cohen April 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm #


      Yes. I love hearing that resolve in others. Strength is contagious.


  3. Joan Listen April 25, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    I love that your writing is so raw and truthful. I am on many blogs, websites, etc. I do like encouragement, but I also am refreshed with your telling the reality. Even though it is different for us all, we can commiserate, realize each other’s struggles are varied, and some days say $#@$%%! And tomorrow is another day. Fight on we will.

  4. Mike May 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    When Blindsided came out I read it and had a guide. A handbook if you will. I was Dx at 22 I am from central CT and have a Mother with MS. I was at the time in college in St Augustine, FL. So a flight home was necessary to realize that I didn’t need glasses or had some form of pink eye. I was told my fate at Yale by a doctor who was at least 115 years old. Denial was right in my wheelhouse and I planned to use it. Now at 38, I am still in denial unfortunately my MS has other ideas. I use a cane for short treks and a scooter for longer adventures. Ironically my Mother at 61 is still on her feet and does not take any of the disease modifying drugs. I have tried them all even tried a chemo drug. I married my college sweetheart who I started dating a little over a year before I was Dx(May ’98). The past 16 years have taken more twists and turns than I care too recall. We moved back home in 2000 to be closer to our families, although ever winter I curse myself for doing so.
    I guess I did not mean to turn this into my bio I just wanted to tell you, I look up to you. I see the way you handle this monster and it gives me hope. At every stumble, fall or stupid mistake I make. I feel at ease and try and laugh it off. You have given me that skill. So thank you.
    I have been trying to write a book of my own. It is a work in progress. A 10 year work in progress.
    Take care