I saw this question asked in a group somewhere not long ago and it got me thinking. Would I go back to the way I was before my multiple sclerosis diagnosis?
No, I wouldn’t.
That may sound strange, I know, but I think my diagnosis was the best thing to happen to me.
Initially, I wasn’t so grateful. Being diagnosed was completely unexpected and terrifying. But overcoming the grieving of my former self, which took about four years, allowed me to grow.
I started to appreciate what was around me and those I was spending time with. I thanked my body for what it could do, and for the first time, I realized how much energy everything required.
It also opened my eyes to the world of invisible illness and the way people judge one another about things they can’t see, such as criticizing someone who uses a disabled parking space because they “don’t look disabled.”
If I were to go back to my former self — that self-conscious, unconfident, worrying-about-everything, workaholic self — I’d say, “Buckle up, princess, it’ll be a bumpy ride. But after that? Well, it’ll be pretty awesome.”
The opportunities I’ve had since being diagnosed, the people I’ve met, those I’ve interviewed on my podcast, and those who told me I inspire them mean everything to me. I have found a purpose that is bigger than me. I feel like I have found my “why” for being on this planet.
I know this may come as a shock to the system. You might be thinking, “How can you say you’re grateful for this unpredictable illness?” The answer is that I choose to be.
One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s not the cards you’re dealt in life that matter, it’s how you play the game.” (If you know me, you know I love my quotes! I’ll be sharing some on postcards soon.)
That quote is accurate, right? You can either decide to be down in the dumps about a situation you can’t change or you can choose to say, “You know what? I can’t change this. It’s just going to happen, so I have no other choice but to make the best of it somehow.”
I appreciate that my situation may be different from yours because my condition is on the milder end of the spectrum, with fewer bad days now. That said, I still have bad days. I still have days when people don’t believe me, and days that are scary and hard. Thankfully, they aren’t as often, and I can handle them far better than I used to.
So, do you wish you could go back to the “old” you? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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