At the time of writing this article I have had MS for just over five months now, five months, such a long yet short period of time. I have spent these months learning about the disease as well as the people who live with the disease and I have learned a lot about both. One thing in particular that I have learned about people living with MS is that a lot of people seem to have a hard time accepting the disease, some are even embarrassed that they are stuck with it.
Now please keep in mind, this is only my opinion, I mean no offense to anyone out there and I certainly don’t mean to belittle anyones feelings in any way shape or form, I simply am voicing my opinion in hopes that it will change the way someone may think about living with MS, that is all.
After I slowly realized that most people take years to come to terms with their disease I looked back over my own short experience with MS and realized that I seemed to have accepted the diseases almost immediately… Sure I had my ups and downs, but for the most part I was never in a state of denial, and I never tried to hide the fact that I had MS. I immediately decided (once I was able) that I was going to share my MS experience with the world in hopes that I would help other’s who were suffering with similar issues. At the same time, I want to be clear, I didn’t go around announcing that I had MS, I wasn’t looking for any pity or anything like that, but if someone asked “Hey why are you walking funny” I had no problem replying “Well, I was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system”.
Now MS effects everyone differently and that also applies to one’s emotions. Considering most people are uncomfortable with accepting or sharing their disease with others I can only assume that that is a normal emotion to be felt but it is one that I honestly don’t understand. You see, the way I have always looked at it is it’s an illness. We did not choose to have MS, we didn’t do anything wrong to get MS, MS just happened. To me getting MS was no different then getting the flu, we don’t choose to get the flu, it just happens and usually we have no problem telling people “Sorry, I can’t come over today, I have the flu”. Nothing embarrassing about it right?
So why should we feel embarrassed about having MS? If anything, we should feel empowered because now we have to deal with the everyday troubles and pressures of life along with a life changing disease on top of that. So if we can continue our life and keep up with everyone else it’s like running a marathon with 100 pounds of weights on our shoulders and still keeping up with all the other runners. Realisticly speaking, we may have trouble walking, seeing, and doing other simple tasks, but really in the end, we are stronger then the average person because we are still keeping up!
I’m not saying I am proud to have MS I am simply saying I am proud to still be living my life with MS. MS may slow me down but it will never stop me. I live my life in hopes that when I tell someone for the first time that I have MS they will think “Damn, this guy has MS and he still has lived such a fulfilling, accomplished, life, impressive!” MS has motivated me to do more with my life, to be more, and to see more, so for me personally, I have nothing to hide, I only have things to share.