As anyone living with multiple sclerosis will know, it can be difficult at times. In fact, some would say it is difficult most of the time.
Now, some of this can be related to the type of MS they have – whether it is relapsing MS, otherwise known as RRMS, or the more aggressive primary and secondary progressive forms. And, of course, it depends on the level of disability that has been reached.
But, overall, it is about individuals’ attitudes. Their attitude to their family and friends, to work, to socializing, to this awful disease, to themselves and to life.
Everyone who has MS, like me, or any other disabling disease, all need to remember that we may be patients but we do not have to be sufferers.
Evidence of the right kind of attitude to have is clear to see in the social media. There are many multiple sclerosis groups in Facebook, some with quite uplifting names, such as:
- We Have MS, but MS Does Not Have Us
- We Are MS Warriors
- War on MS
- MS Warriors of Hope
- MS and me, our fight for a cure
- Fight Multiple Sclerosis
- Together WE fight MS
- I Have MS and I’m Fabulous
- I have MS and am a stronger person for it! (and Friends)
These are just a few examples. There are plenty more.
The human body, and I include the brain, is tremendously resilient and we need to be as resilient in how we each handle this unwanted intruder in our house, this uninvited guest at our table. At times we will struggle, but occasionally, everyone does; we have no copyright on that.
We first need to remember that we are all people. He is a person, she is a person, YOU are a person and I am a person. That might seem a strange thing to say but it is important because although we may have multiple sclerosis neither that, nor the term ‘disabled’ should be allowed to define us. Each of us is a person first and foremost; we just happen to have a disability.
MS may be a life sentence, after all there is no recognized cure yet, but it is not a death sentence – except for those who feel so sorry for themselves that they give up on life.
While there are plenty of things I am sure each of us cannot do, there are many that we can – and we should use that to keep ourselves positive.
My attitude to life is to look at what I CAN do, not what I can’t. Can you say the same?
Never give up.