I read something someone wrote about me the other day–yes, this is a lot like when your mom used to tell you not to eavesdrop because you might not like what you hear about yourself–and while this person had a few bad things to say about me, the one thing they said that I objected to wasn’t negative and IMO, it wasn’t intended to hurt me in any way.  I don’t have a problem with someone stating their opinion of me on their blog because hey, freedom of speech as Karen Scott says on her blog, “It’s my blog and I’ll say what I want,” but when I read “she suffers enough every day with MS,” well, let’s just say, I went a tiny bit postal.  I even wrote a comment worthy of the worst author in the world behaving badly, but thankfully, I caught myself before I actually hit the post button.

Why, you may ask, is that the one thing in all the bad things this person wrote about me that I objected to?  Well, in a nutshell, I don’t “suffer” from MS.  Yes, I have MS, but it does not define who I am,  and it does not control my life.  Do I wish I didn’t have it?  Sure, I also wish I didn’t have Type 1 Diabetes, but I do and I’ve had it since I was sixteen.  You learn to live with it, just like I’ve learned to live with MS in the few years I’ve had it.  And, you do everything you can not to let it rule who you are as a person.

The thing is…I consider MS more of a blessing than a hindrance.  I’m not saying it will always be that way, but for now I’m, well, I can’t say I’m happy that I have it, but I will say, it’s something I can live with.  Witness, the post I wrote around Thanksgiving of last year, My Silver Lining…, which listed a few of the reasons I’ve found to be grateful for MS.  And in that entry, I didn’t even touch on the biggest reason I consider it to be a blessing; the fact that if it weren’t for MS, I would never have gotten serious about trying to attain my dream of becoming a published author.

I readily admit, I went through several months of depression when I was first diagnosed, and boy, if depression isn’t suffering, I don’t know what it.  Luckily for me, when I was at my lowest, I managed to find hope again…in the playful scampering of a cat and the beauty of the world around me.  Later that day, I sat myself down at the computer and wrote out what I was feeling and what I had seen.  In the end, I had a rather lengthy–and I’ll admit, not very good–poem.  I also had a new outlook on not just the MS, but on my life as a whole.

I’m including the last few verses of the poem in this post for you to read–I’ll spare you from the first seven or eight which deal with the symptoms of the flare-up I was going through at the time.  Suffice it to say, physically, it was the worst I’ve ever dealt with, but mentally and spiritually, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I was sitting on the deck on a beautiful New England fall day and…well, I’ll let you read it for yourself:

From A New Resolve:

The cat draws my attention
as he pursues a twirling leaf.
His head is slightly
off-kilter,
his tail takes a
sharp westward turn,
his ears are
no longer symmetrical.

I give up, concede the
power of the monster in my life.
Struggling with despair
as I stare at the cat’s
re-arranged body,
and it occurs to me, he is
a cubist’s crowning achievement;
Black Cat Stalking by Pablo Picasso.

My eyes lift to the trees,
fall colors, not quite in focus,
reds bleed into orange,
yellows seep into green,
daubed on a background of dazzling blue.
as if I am adrift in
an impressionist’s masterpiece,
Autumn in Maine by Claude Monet. 

A hint of hope sneaks in,
this baffling disease
may hold me today,
but with that glorious
glimpse of the world
through the eyes
of my favorite artists,
I’ve found a new resolve.  

So, to the person who wrote those words about me; while it’s true I have MS, I don’t “suffer with it every day.”  There are countless ways in this world that a person can suffer, and yes, MS is one of them for many, but not for me, not right now.  Right now I’m holding hope firmly in my heart and God willing, it’ll stay there for a long time to come.

 

I wish the same for you.

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