“We all remember back to the days before our MS diagnosis. None of us said when I grow up I would like to have Multiple Sclerosis. Our lives were so different back then. Those feelings that overwhelmed you hearing your doctor say “You have MS”? Think about how different our mindset is today compared to how it was before being diagnosed. Certain things just don’t seem to matter like they used to. The laundry piles up, yesterday’s mail is still in the mailbox, and the beds are not made. These things are no longer important. Our lives have changed. We have become a bit more humble. Our everyday chores will get done when they get done. Our priorities have shifted.
“You see folks with MS, have MS. There is no way around it. All we can do is make it a little better. Make our lives a bit brighter. We have to believe in our ability to stay positive and not let MS break us. This to me is a powerful thing! I meet maybe 3-5 newly diagnosed folks a month. I think to myself, what do I say to them? How do I make their journey easier? These folks are scared to death. MS is scary! It’s really hard sometimes to spew my positivity because realistically, MS is not fun. MS ruins lives. Destroys families. Puts folks in wheelchairs. Forces them to lose their driving privileges, their jobs. I don’t want to tell them any of these things. I have to keep it upbeat! I have to give them hope, WE take control! We show MS who is the boss. A tug of war – back and forth – push and pull. And, yes at times it forces us to retreat. To lay down, to Rest. But that’s ok. It actually feels good to rest! Our path is our path alone and MS does not define any of us.
“We continue! We keep on! We live through this with every breath. We are resilient and WILL Continue our fight. We are not pain-free but we are alive! We will endure! We do endure! At times we are at the top, then other days we hit bottom, but we always rise up! Aren’t we amazing? Seriously? MS is a bully, it sucks! It kicks us when we are down, over and over again, but yet, here we all are! In a group with other warriors giving MS the finger! Always in the background, always a shadow, but never ever running our lives. Not today! We are still who we are, but we are also different. It’s really important to believe in yourself, to respect yourself, to love yourself. There is not one person in this room that is not worthy of any of that! You (everyone in the circle), hand to heart, ARE Worthy! And if you don’t believe me, pick up the phone and call me! I will be happy to remind you!!”