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Have you assembled your S.W.A.T. team? - A Guest Blog

Posted March 7, 2016 and tagged with blog, guest.

By: Kristina Marie Dizard

Have you assembled your S.W.A.T. team?
(Strength, Wisdom & Thankfulness)

No, I don’t mean we need our own personal group of all-black-wearing elite police officers to bombard our home in the midst of an M.S. attack. Although, maybe that would give us the distraction from pain and fatigue that we need. For me, in times of personal emergency I need to be surrounded by people that are going to help with my strength, impart wisdom and encourage my attitude of thankfulness.

This last January I had the intensely emotional experience of traveling alone for the first time ever, on a trip to Sedona. After a continued uphill battle in 2015 with my disease progressing, and trial and error with almost every medicine offered I was left weary and thirsty for some actual life experiences outside of this disease. In this time, I realized I have to set up a support team that can come along side me in times of need, despite my natural inclination to do everything on my own.

Setting yourself up to handle this disease to your best ability means letting go of the reins a bit and finding others to come along side you. Someone that will remind you in times of weakness of your inner strength—even when outward it is nowhere to be found. A friend that can gently whisper wisdom when your own inner dialogue is frustrated or weary. It’s like C.S. Lewis says, “It’s not the load, but the way we carry it.” Having an attitude of gratitude is something we have all heard at least once, but it really does make a world of difference. Even if all we can be thankful for is that things could always be worse, that’s still something. Verbally expressing small blessings and things we are grateful for shapes the perspective for the entire day, finding a friend that can encourage you in this when needed is so important. Your S.W.A.T. team should be lovingly, graciously holding you accountable, never negative or critical.

Give it a try, I promise that you do not need to suffer and fight in silence. Your friends and family long to be able to help you in any way they can with this unpredictable disease. Giving them something to do to help you will be good for all parties involved, as you can imagine how helpless they feel at times, as well.

While in Sedona, staring in awe at the crimson mountains and cobalt sky I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful for the chance to seek out beauty and wonder. To embark on an adventure. Thankful for those people on my team, that I have battling with me.
Thankful for another day.

Kristina Marie Dizard has published 2 poetry books: Undefined and Embrace Every Facet, and was diagnosed with M.S. in 2005. Kristina lives in Edmonds, Washington where she advocates for the homeless, enjoys the beach and fabulous book stores.
You can find her online at

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