Multiple sclerosis. I was blindsided by its arrival. It was during a time in my life which should have been carefree and not dominated by the uncertainty of a disease.
MS was definitely an enormous obstacle that interrupted my life. Its presence made continuing on with everyday life difficult and at times impossible. It also created despondency by blocking the visions and plans I had for my future.
My life became dominated by MS. Although increasing my understanding of my disease was at times beneficial, my condition became all-consuming. Overtaking my every thought and encroaching upon my identity.
I became increasingly frustrated. MS made living the life I had created, and the dreams and plans for my future, impossible. And without realizing, I had created a never-ending cycle of relapses and agitation.
4. Letting go
I was faced with a clear choice. Continue on as is, enduring relentless relapses and frustration. Or prioritize what is important — my health and well-being — and let go of any aspect of my life that was contributing to negative energy.
5. Taking time
Having prioritized what was important in my life, I was still experiencing relapses. I realized that I needed to take time to focus inwardly, as it was pointless stripping back and prioritizing what was important, only to rebuild my life based on how I have always interacted with, thought about and approached my hurdle and life. MS became a vehicle for personal growth physically, emotionally and spiritually.
After living with MS for over 15 years I realized that I was no longer defined by this disease. I had moved beyond the darkness of MS. I was able to find joy in my life and have a genuine excitement about my future.The positive I take from my journey is the insight I have gained at each of these stages. And it is these discoveries that explain why my response to MS and life is unrecognizable compared to years earlier.Working as a social worker, and just being aware of other peoples’ stories, I know we all experience hurdles that interrupt our lives. And it is how we respond to these difficulties that define our life experiences.