March is MS Awareness month. Actually, last week was MS awareness week and if you know me, you’re not a bit surprised that I didn’t bring it up. I don’t wear orange (duh, I’m a redhead), I don’t mention my symptoms on a daily basis and I sure as shit do not say things like “This is not the life I ordered”.
With it being MS Awareness month, the MS related people and organizations I follow on Twitter and Pinterest have really been having a heyday. I’ve discovered some really amazing people out there with great attitudes and a lot of really good information regarding managing symptoms, coping, new therapies, etc. I’ve also encountered a LOT of the above sentiment. “This is not the life I ordered” or similar quotes. I hate it. Where was I when the big guy came around to take “orders?”. Does this imply that people who are not diagnosed with a chronic illness are all doing exactly what they wanted to be doing? That their lives have been flawless? That if you don’t have a chronic illness, you don’t know what it is like to struggle, to be frustrated with the way things are going, to wish for a different life? I admit, I am much less tolerant of negative thoughts/people thank I used to be (does that statement make me a hypocrite? maybe…). It’s just that I really think the moment you subscribe to the idea that you’re not living the life you asked for, you’re A) thinking you have WAY more control over life than you do and B) setting yourself up for all kinds of disappointment.
Good or bad, no one is living the life they expected. LIFE throws curve balls. Not just MS. Not just other chronic illness. And, it’s not all bad. There are some positives that have come out of the last year. Things that might not have happened had I not been diagnosed. Maybe I wouldn’t have held on to my friends so tightly. I might not have been so open with telling someone I love and need them. I might not have let go of those negative relationships that were only dragging me down. I might not have realized how precious every day is or how I was letting minor things keep me from achieving more. I might not have made new friends. I might not have reconnected with old ones. The list goes on and on.
Positive thinking won’t cure my disease. It won’t slow down the progression. But, this is the life that was ORDERED FOR ME and it’s up to me to deal with it the best I can.
*Um, also, it really is MS Awareness month so I should encourage you to read other blogs or look at MS Association of America’s website or National MS Society’s Webpage to see how you can stay informed and get involved, if you want. It’s not up to me to push it on you!