My Stick My Way by Arun Mohan
invisible illness, spoonie

MY STICK MY WAY – Story By Arun Mohan

Hello! I am Arun and am seized with a zest for living life on my own terms. Having seen the downside of life, I have chosen to be a Life Wellness Coach and offer support to people. I can say this with a tinge of sadness or anger at what life has given me but I choose a happy face. John F Kennedy famously remarked, “Ask not what your country can do for you; instead, ask what you have done for your country”. Similarly, “Ask not what MS has done to you but ask what you have done with your MS”.

I have seen it all.

From being a swanky sales guy to being derisively referred to as a disabled guy has not been easy.

I learnt to live life the hard way but that doesn’t mean I should not live it at all. From being called by various names and terms – as a wastrel, drunkard, nincompoop, to being called useless I have heard it all and more.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease called Multiple Sclerosis which I didn’t even know existed till then. My life which was going hunky-dory had suddenly turned upside down.

During the course of my certification for being a life coach and subsequently listening to my fellow MSPs (multiple sclerosis people), I learnt whatever you are going through is nothing and that “This too shall pass”

I was losing control. I just couldn’t balance myself. After having sprained my ankle a couple of times and breaking my arms and legs I realized through an ENT doctor that it was better to walk using a walking stick than breaking my bones again.

What did I do? I said, “So what? This too shall pass”. Started using a walking stick but in style.

Today I am known as the “Man with a walking stick”.

 I do things that give me a kick in life and in the process I tell myself every day that I am still ‘alive and kicking’. But, understanding certain facts, I take utmost care of myself too.

I did not hold myself back, I looked at things that interested me and which I was able to achieve. Having a good sense of dressing, I got into modelling. The photo presentation of Models at the event ‘Seeing the Unseen’ in Bangalore was very well received. It got good coverage in the news – with the theme being “Photographs on the Invisible Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis “

After the encouragement I got on my first chance to walk on the fashion ramp, I became a regular. Apart from feeling glamorous, I get a lot of self-confidence when I walk on the stage in front of a huge audience.

I got to do things that I could have only dreamt of, and then I realised that dreams do come true if only we endeavour. I got a tattoo done, got featured in a regional magazine, was a guest of honour at a couple of events, my pictures were put up in an exhibition for photographers, walking the ramp with a beautiful actress- these could have happened only in a dream otherwise.

To overcome my own worries, I started volunteering in various other segments. I take part in all programs and events connected with disability segments. Initially, I used to go as a guest to understand, but with time I started becoming an active participant. This has helped me to network more and understand better.

Since Multiple Sclerosis is not known to many, I try my best to spread awareness of this neurological disorder.  At one point in my life, I was clueless about what happened to me and was worried about the future. Today, I make it a point to reach out to anyone who is struggling to come to terms with certain truths.  By sharing my experience, and my knowledge I try to help or motivate others.

Becoming a Life and Wellness Coach added value and confidence in my life. While I teach and coach the others, I realise that I am teaching myself too. There is a lot to learn, and I have the desire to learn.

I will end with another quote by Mary McLeod Bethune, “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible”. Impossible says I M POSSIBLE, and I have convinced myself, “It’s possible with MY STICK MY WAY”.

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