Profile in Courage: Cory Martin
She’s got writing credits on the hit television show, “The OC,” and she’s a young adult novel writer for Scholastic. Her essays have appeared online in XOJane, The Mighty and Elephant Journal, and she is a featured Live Bold, Live Now Hero on HealthCentral. The author of "Yoga for Beginners", Cory Martin’s newest book, “Love Sick,” is a memoir about dating life in Hollywood and her personal journey with MS. Here's what I found out in talking to Cory:
Q: A recent move in the health field has been to stop using the word diabetic in favor of “person with diabetes,” to avoid defining a person by their disease. How do you see MS in your life?
Cory: MS is simply another part of my life. It certainly doesn’t define me, but it has definitely made me who I am today, the same way all of my life experiences have added up to make me the woman I am. Just like I am an author, a college graduate, a yoga teacher, an athlete, a daughter, a sister, a traveler and so many other things, I am also a person with MS.
Q: You recently wrote Love Sick about your personal dating experience in Hollywood while living with MS. What did you discover during that dating journey?
Cory: I originally thought that MS was going to be a curse, that there would never be anyone who would want to love me in sickness and health when the sickness was inevitable. And, it’s true, there were men I dated who showed me that this was true for them -- that they couldn’t handle it and they left, some nicely and some in the most soul-crushing ways.
But what I eventually found out was that the MS was a blessing, because life itself is unpredictable and we never know what the future will hold, so finding someone who can love me now, knowing all they know, is only a testament to their strength and ability to face life and all of its unknowns, head on as a true partner, and that’s what I always wanted.
Q: You’re a committed yoga student and teacher. What lessons has yoga provided to help you manage juggling life and MS?
Cory: One of the most difficult parts of dealing with MS is the unpredictability of the disease. It’s easy to get lost or frightened by the thoughts of the future, especially within the first year after diagnosis. I was constantly wondering when, if and how the MS was going to affect me, in fact this still happens to me, but yoga helps me keep in the moment. It reminds me to enjoy what I have right here, right now, and not worry too much about tomorrow, because I never know what’s going to happen.
Q: What is a day in the life of Cory Martin like -- MS included?
Cory: I work from home, so my days aren’t super structured. But I usually wake up, scroll through Facebook and Instagram and check emails. Then I’ll get out of bed and walk into my office and start working on either promoting my book or new writing projects.
Sometime around 1 or so I’ll go work out. Whether that’s a swim, a yoga class or a long walk, I try to do something active every day. I’ll come home, make lunch then work some more and then either walk down to the beach, meet friends for happy hour, or go out to dinner.
Of course, there are days, especially when it’s super-hot outside that all this goes out the window and I might have to rest inside, or take the day off work depending on how I feel. I’m lucky in that my schedule is flexible so I can always make my health my priority.
Q: Part of your dating journey was to see if love does cure all. What did you find?
Cory: One of the first thoughts I had when I learned I was dealing with MS was “who’s going to want to marry me now?” I was in a state where I believed that I was no longer lovable by someone outside my family and it made me depressed.
I became so desperate to find love, because I was so sad and I really thought it could cure me, so I kept putting myself out there and I never gave up. Eventually I found love. But more than that I found that I was still lovable despite my disease and that was the real medicine I needed.