Another MSiversary Approaches

As I write this, we are closing in on February 2nd. For most, that’s Groundhog Day, for me, it is yet another MSiversary (what I call the anniversary of the day I was diagnosed, excluding the fact that, like many, I likely had the disease long before it became official). This one marks nineteen years since I took the phone call confirming what I pretty much already knew, that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve mentioned in the past how I like to celebrate this day. I try to take something that should probably be considered bad and turn it around. It’s a big day to me, a special one too. As the day approaches, I often find myself reflecting on my life with the disease. Yes, I think of the bad moments, but I also strive to look for the positives too. Last year’s MSiversary actually left me feeling invincible. This year, I find myself with an overwhelming feeling of pride.

Pride?

Yes, it’s true, I’m filled with pride this year. Not because I have the disease, but because of the way I’ve dealt with it. The way I live with it. I’m not denying my disease, I’m not saying it doesn’t have me, it has a major impact in my life. Nineteen years later, this disease is very much part of me in ways that the fresh-faced, 21-year-old that was given that diagnosis could never have imagined. It’s not all I am, but like I said, I won’t deny that its effect on my life has been significant. The back half of these nineteen years has been very difficult. Despite that, I’m still here, I’m still kicking, I’m still living my life. Sure, that life isn’t what I expected it to be and I’d gladly get rid of this disease if I could. However, I am proud that I’m still here, I’m proud of the way I’ve weathered the storm of Multiple Sclerosis.

The life I've forged despite MS

Have I made mistakes along the way? You bet. Could I have handled some aspects of my life with the disease better? Of course. I try not to get hung up on hindsight though. Overall, I’ve made it. I’ve lived nineteen years with a rough disease. I think that’s something to be proud of. Now, I often love to say, “Well, I didn’t have a choice in the matter”, and that’s true. I don’t ever like any credit or accolades for what I’ve done. That said, that doesn’t mean I can’t still be proud of the life I’ve forged despite MS. You can have personal pride without seeking recognition from others. That’s why this MSiversary has me walking around with my head held high. I know I’ve put up the best fight I could and I’ve survived. I’ve adapted to all the trials and tribulations thrown at me.

You’ve earned it

I’m writing about this, but this is really just an insight into my head as I approach, what I consider, my most important anniversary. I believe it’s OK to feel good about yourself a bit for getting through it. There are so many aspects of this disease that are difficult, I think we’ve all earned that feeling of pride for surviving it. No matter how long you’ve had MS, living with this disease is proof that you’re a badass, it’s an example of how tough you are, it’s a badge that says “This person is loaded with fortitude.” So while we aren’t heroes, we can still feel good about ourselves, we can still have a sly smile in the mirror each morning that says “Damn, I’m good”.

You deserve a celebration

That’s why, like I try to do every year, I celebrate my MSiversary, and I always encourage others to do the same. No matter how long you’ve had this disease, you deserve a little celebration. You deserve to feel good about yourself, too, because you’ve earned it! If any of you do anything special on your MSiversary, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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