A multiple sclerosis diagnosis is hard to process. Our body that we once knew so well suddenly feels untrustworthy. The truth is that the malfunctioning of our body is a traumatic event. We never expected it to do these things.
We are told this uncertainty regarding our body will last a lifetime. It’s easy to see why this would cause such internal panic. Often, no advice is given at the time of diagnosis about how to mentally handle the news. There are no words of encouragement stressing that things eventually will become more manageable. No notice of what to expect, other than, “You’ll have good days and bad days.” What does that mean anyway, when my condition fluctuates hour by hour much of the time?
We find ourselves sitting in a doctor’s office feeling like our entire world has come crashing down, with little or no hope for the future.
Feelings of loss, confusion, frustration, anger, and sadness start to creep up, and at no point does anyone say the words I am about to tell you.
It is totally normal to feel this way.
It is entirely normal to feel those feelings. It’s OK if you feel confused, lost, or as if you don’t know who you are anymore. Experiencing the five stages of grief is normal in this situation, and everyone goes through it at a different speed.
Some people seem to be able to whiz through these grief stages and move on quickly, while for others, these feelings may linger around much longer.
Anyone who tells you to “move on” or “get over it” isn’t being helpful. We need to find acceptance at our own pace.
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