I never want to be perceived to "sugar coat" multiple sclerosis. MS is a horrible disease that deeply affects many people and their loved ones. I’m not ignoring the negative aspects of this disease but to me, I’d rather try to find some silver lining. I’d rather focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. I’d rather channel my energy toward what this experience has given me rather than what it has taken away.
Yes, my posts are on the positive side and I rarely write about my negative experiences with multiple sclerosis. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the way I cope and live with my disease. After I was diagnosed with MS, I was as low as a person could possibly get in life and I refuse to let myself ever go there again. It is a choice I’ve made and I fight every day to stay as positive as possible.
I applaud people who share their struggles and I know others need to see those posts to know that they’re not alone. I know people need to vent and get things off of their chest – it all can be extremely helpful and therapeutic. Even I can jump aboard that venting train but I just can’t stay on there for long. For me personally, I fear going down that road will take me to that dark place and life is too precious to ever go there again.
Some people may say that I must have a more "benign form of MS" and that I don’t understand the struggle of people who have it more severely than me. First, there is no such thing as “benign” MS. To me, it is an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp.” Even the medical professionals have gone away from using that terminology. There is nothing benign about living with multiple sclerosis. My struggle may be different but it is a struggle all the same. Second, I was almost buying into that “benign MS” thing until this last lesion reminded me that as invincible as I may feel, MS is still trying to work its damage on me. I am still prone to the effects of multiple sclerosis and MS is always there ready to strike.
I remind myself of what I’ve been through, what I’ve experienced and how I’ve felt. In the past, MS has affected my ability to walk, impaired my vision, darkened my mind, and fatigued and weakened my body. I’ve seen the misery this disease can bring but I choose not to focus on that. I have come a long way and have fought hard to be where I am today. I choose to try and light that candle amongst all that darkness.
I focus on the fact that I’ve come back every time MS has knocked me down. I come back and I come back stronger than before. Do I still have my bad days? Absolutely but most important are the days when I “win.” Whether large or small victories, there are days when I go to bed so thankful for my life. On those days, I feel like I’m beating MS. I’ll say it again and for the rest of my life: MS can try to ravage my body and my mind but it will never ever take away my spirit. I believe that is possible for every person out there fighting MS.
To my fellow MS Warriors: keep up the fight, always hold on to hope, and focus on the good in your life. You are all truly amazing souls and you inspire me each and every day!