Staying Positive

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What was the biggest challenge after being diagnosed? Show your Support by Commenting!

People oftentimes comment on my almost unbelievably sunny disposition, especially for someone faced with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. It’s easy to let yourself slip into a depression after being told you have a chronic illness, I know that all too well but I’ve been depressed before and I’m not really looking to go back. Instead, I focused on the road to recovery. That single flare up cost me the use of my legs as well as my job, but I refuse to let this keep me down.

Despite popular belief, my illness didn’t start when I have diagnosed this past February. As a chronic illness, I’ve had it all my life with symptoms as far back as age 11. No, I have been functioning as a full member of society until my symptoms made that impossible. Nobody coddled me when I had to walk to and from the bus stop in the dark to get to work. So, I find it incredibly amusing that since I’ve been diagnosed everyone has acted differently, though I remain unchanged.

Read more: They Didn’t Believe I Have Multiple Sclerosis

In the past 8 months, I have gone from managing to hold a full-time job to being unable to walk beyond the confines of my house. I have gone from speaking clearly to becoming unintelligible and lost over 20 pounds off my already skinny frame. The road to recovery will be long and treacherous, but I’ve done it before, so I know I can get back up. Thankfully, along the way, I have been overwhelmed by other people’s support, and I am comforted knowing that if I stumble, they’ll be there to catch me.

One thing I know is that without the generosity of friends, family, and total strangers I wouldn’t have been able to keep my head above water when dealing with this. Since my diagnosis, I have been given so much, from money for bills to a wheelchair and walker. I’m just glad my doctors know what’s going on, especially after years of tests with little result. With the help of medication, family, and my physical therapist I keep making progress every day.

Read more: I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS

It’s hard to stay positive sometimes, even with everyone around you supporting you. In my mind, I’m broken. My body no longer listens to my brain, and I have to drag my legs with incredible strength just to walk. What comes out sounding perfectly clear to me sounds slowed down and slurred in recordings. Despite all of that, or maybe because of it, I have more self-worth than before my diagnosis. I know that even though I’m broken physically, I have the power to change the world for the better and the time to make my dreams a reality.

In my eyes, as someone who has been dealing with these symptoms for over 12 years without complaint, my diagnosis was the catalyst for the fire that burned my life to ashes. Suddenly I wasn’t okay, after years of being told: “quit complaining, you’re fine.” My world was turned on its axis without warning, and I was left with a choice – stay sitting in the ashes of my old life or move forward. I couldn’t piece together my old life, so like a phoenix, I rose from the ashes and began anew.

I look at life like this; it takes a millisecond to be kind or smile, but the impact you may have on someone’s life could be eternal.

What was the biggest challenge after being diagnosed? Show your Support by Commenting!