OK, it’s time for me to come clean.
Hi, my name is Kim and I’ve been overdosing on MS lately.
Recently, multiple sclerosis has been all-consuming to me and I need a break. I need to step away from MS, and to remind myself that I am much more than this disease. Easier said than done, I know. For me, not only is it the daily reminders of living with multiple sclerosis, but then I’m also trying to help others by working on a site geared towards MS patients and their caregivers.
I think you can look through my recent posts and see where I am mentally these days. I want to escape. I want a vacation from MS. I want to be “normal” for at least a little bit. I don’t want to have to deal with this chronic illness, and most of all, I don’t want to see other people struggling with multiple sclerosis. I internalize their pain, feel helpless that I can’t comfort them, and have trouble separating myself from the entire MS universe.
Right now, I’m really struggling to find that MS/life balance. How do I separate myself from MS and identify myself as “multi-faceted Kim” and not “a patient with MS?”
I’ve been living with MS long enough that you would think by now, I would have this all figured out but perhaps, it is something you never really get accustomed to. Unfortunately, living with a chronic illness involves constantly changing situations swirling about us, and we just have to keep adapting to what comes our way.
I guess I’m frustrated because I want more than to just survive. Like many of you, I want to LIVE my life the way I want to live it without having to consider the MS portion of it. But can I really detach from the MS part of my life?
Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I can ever step away from MS; it's just not realistic. I can only do my best to try and find that happy balance where dealing with a chronic illness is secondary to living my life. When I was diagnosed in 2003, I became an MS Warrior — it is part of who I am and I will continue to fight, but it is not all that I am.
For now, I guess I need to remind myself, and concentrate on the fact, that I am so much more than MS, so much more than a statistic or an MS case study. I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a dog-lover, a runner, a sailor, a dreamer, an eternal optimist…and the list can go on and on and on…
There is definitely no answer or solution to my current conundrum, and I may be doing a bit of venting and rambling here. I’m just trying to figure it all out…again. For lack of a better phrase, it SUCKS living with MS. I just have to continue to find ways to overcome but it is downright exhausting fighting MS every day. I would love to find that happy balance if it’s possible but again, I don’t know if I have the luxury living with a chronic illness.
So I’m putting this question out to the MS universe: how do you live your life first and put MS in the background?