Having MS has directed my attention to me, my home and my family.
In July 2008 -when symptoms first started happening to me and before knowing about having MS- I sat in my living room staring at the wall. While sitting there I could feel nothing in my home -no warmth, no happiness, no love; nothing compelling me to be there- and my immediate thought was I’d rather be at work. (Work made me feel accomplished and important whereas home made me feel inadequate and taken for granted.)
We all know the story, I never went back to work; in fact, after using all my vacation and sick time I had to quit my job. (Not only did my family and I have to adjust to me being home all the time but we also had to adjust to us having only one income.)
Everything in my life turned upside down when MS entered the picture. I felt completely transparent and that my life -and my family’s life- was on display. It was a very hard time for me because I was a private person who only wanted the world to see my best side. (As do we all-we don’t want the world to know that sometimes we aren’t our best (or even our good) selves, that periodically we wear our clothes again without washing them first (we just wipe off the stain(s) with a damp wash cloth and iron them), that occasionally we eat top ramen or cereal for dinner, and that every so often we’re disorganized and don’t get important things done.)
I faced the demons of feeling inadequate and taken for granted -and allowed myself to know the new demon of asking myself who’d want me now that I’m handicapped?– by crying and wanting to leave because of feeling like a burden. My family told me they wanted me around; they said, “We keep the cats -even when they don’t help us- because we love them. We want you around because we love you.” They said kind things but their words didn’t help me until I believed them. (Eventually I believed them and accepted many good things about myself.)
(My opinion is that MS came into my life to teach me and to correct my beliefs. I’m religious and have faith that Heavenly Father wanted to bless me but my beliefs wouldn’t allow me to receive any blessings so he gave me a trial to help me.)
I’m a contemplative person and a deep thinker and consider MS a great blessing in my life because it allows me to face how I feel about myself and others. Not only are my feelings now corrected but so are my beliefs. MS got me off auto-pilot, allowed me to decide how to be, and gave me the opportunity to discover what to do with my time. Thanks to having MS my thinking is now correct, I know several truths, and my character is developed and strengthened in many, many ways.
Today, nine years later, I look back to the day of thinking I’d rather be at work and shudder to think in what condition I and my family would be if MS had never crossed our paths. We are all forever changed for the better, and although changes are hard each one is worth it. I truly believe that each person can bravely face their trials and demons, overcome them and triumph, and it is my greatest hope that they will. <3