Author Archives: Teresa Wright-Johnson

Through the Valley of the Shadow

Psalms 23 has always been my comfort when I needed respite from the hardships of life and chronic illness. My mother used to read that Bible passage to me as a child, and now it has become a cornerstone of my faith. Today, I find myself in the valley of…

Putting Myself First

“Take the time you need,” “This too shall pass,” and “You can’t pour from an empty cup” are just a few idioms I have used to encourage others. Strong shoulders carry heavy loads. My shoulders bear the weight of myself and countless others. The DNA of an empath is…

My Angst Is Not Your Angst

A few years ago, I penned a column titled “My Tired Is Not Your Tired” that expounded on the severity of fatigue that people with MS and other chronic illnesses experience. I contrasted the general fatigue most people occasionally feel with fatigue related to chronic illness. Reflections on that…

Why My Body Is Not My Adversary

Why is my body betraying me? As an advocate and a person with chronic illness, this question surfaces often. Many people with chronic illness feel that their body has failed them. I can understand the reasoning behind the question. At times, the very things many take for granted are the…

My Judgment-free Zone

Judgment is a social ill that many people with chronic illness must endure. People have said, “You’re not the same person,” “Snap out of it,” and of course, “You don’t look sick.” Most recently, referring to my irritability and need to regroup, someone asked where the old me had gone.

Staying Afloat in the Middle of the Storm

The storms keep coming. Whenever I think I will land ashore, a hurricane sends me back into the eye of the storm. I want to write; however, I fall short of time and, ultimately, the words to explicate all I am going through. Most writers have interval writer’s block. Emotional…

Visibly Me, Visible MS

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month has arrived, lasting throughout the month of March. All things orange and popular hashtags flood social media sites. Awareness months like this have great value, though some may disagree. Awareness months become vessels to engage and encourage individuals and communities to get involved.

The Moment I Realized Things Could Get Worse

Life never lets me forget its fragility. Sometimes my challenges seem like mountains to be scaled. Adversity has become the elephant in the room; it is ever present even when I refuse to acknowledge it. A few weeks ago, I faced what could potentially have been a medical crisis.

Keeping My Eyes on the Prize

Welcome to the new year! I am grateful for the opportunity to open my eyes and still have the gift of life. Many did not make it into 2019. Those who have transitioned are remembered with love and respect. Last year, I made a happiness jar. The intent…

Facing the Reality of the Holiday Season

The holiday bustle has begun. As Thanksgiving approaches, I ponder the season and a lump forms in my throat. I am grateful to be here and for the blessings of family and friends. But my heart aches with grief for those loved ones who are no longer with me.

MS Does Not Excuse Poor Behavior

This is a difficult column to pen. I am an open heart, yet critically examining myself, and my troubling behavior is onerous. The ego is not impartial. I have written several articles discussing the emotional toll of multiple sclerosis and chronic illness. By the comments and messages received,…

The Power of the Patient Advocate

Every life has purpose. Every voice has power. I decided long ago to speak my truth. My advocacy journey has inspired me to share my experiences courageously, and to embrace all that I am. Advocacy is defined as public support for, or recommendation of, a particular cause or…

The Legacy I Hope to Leave Behind

Death. It will come to each of us; this is an indisputable truth. The recent deaths of Aretha Franklin and Sen. John McCain are the inspiration for this week’s column. As I watched and listened to the memorials and eulogies, the rich legacy they leave behind is…

Revelations Learned in My Aha! Moments

Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I supposed to do with my life?” or, “How did I get here?” I have asked these questions several times throughout my existence. Those questions regurgitated at the occurrence of every life-altering event. I did not receive a definitive answer that appeased…

Making Myself a Priority

Last week, I wrote about climbing through grief. This week, I will focus on what I learned in the throes of the cycle of grief. Several people share the opinion that I do too much. My cousin often says that he wants me to say no to…

I Climb Through Grief from the Bottom Up

It has been a while since I’ve written a column. Within one month, two of my relatives have passed away. Spiritually, I believe in eternal life. However, in my earthly existence, death has left its sting. Multiple deaths, physical pain, and disappointments have catapulted me into a cycle of…

The Importance of a Positive Support Network

In July 2017, I participated in a Facebook chat for MS News Today entitled “The Importance of Support And Positive Influences.” The chat was created to prompt a discussion on the necessity of support and resources for a person living with MS or other chronic illnesses. And now…

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