Let me start off with a little snippet from the Mel Brook’s movie, Young Frankenstein:
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Whose brain did you put in him?
Igor: Err... Abby something...
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Abby who?
Igor: Abby... Normal. Yes that's it, Abby Normal!
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Are you saying that you put an abnormal brain in a 7 foot tall, 54 inch wide GORILLA!!!???
While I'm not a "7 foot tall, 54 inch wide gorilla," I can definitey relate to having an abnormal brain. I also really wanted an excuse to use a quote from one of my favorite movies.
I've seen a lot of talk out there, on social media and even on this site, about MS patients having to find their “new normal” living with multiple sclerosis. It got me thinking, what exactly is “normal” anyway? I mean, there is nothing "normal" about what is happening inside our bodies. So why refer to it as our “new normal?” We will never be “normal” again!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I get it. I understand the meaning behind the terminology. Life changes and you have to adapt, just like with any other loss you may experience in your life. You have to go through the steps to grieve before you can move on. Then, you need to find your “new normal” living without whatever, or whomever, you may have lost. With MS, you have to grieve what you once believed to be you, accept this chronic illness, and then find ways to live with it the best way that you can. Grieving is a normal process of life, but I refuse to call coming out on the other side of this process and living with a chronic illness as anything close to “normal.”
We’re not normal. There is nothing normal about us, and that's ok. We are all beyond normal. We're exceptional and never forget that! This challenge of living with MS is a true testament to our inner strength, and I believe we wouldn’t have been tasked with it unless we could handle it.
Yes, life gave us this challenge but we have the choice of what we’re going to do with it and how we’re going to face it. Every one of us is fighting MS each and every day. Some days are good and some not so good, but we keep fighting daily. I would say that classifies us as people who are definitely not "normal."
I’m sure most of you didn’t know how strong you really were until you were faced with multiple sclerosis. So from now on, instead of “new normal,” I’m going to refer to people with MS finding their “true strength,” or perhaps their “new life” because life indeed does go on, and it can be even greater and more meaningful than our “old normal.”
Continue to stay strong out there!
(AKA: Kim Fryling-Resare)