Attitude Determines Outcome

I’m just going to be honest; I have an extremely hard time with negativity when it comes to Multiple Sclerosis. I think a lot of the reason I have such a difficult time with it, is because I once was the person filled with negativity and bitterness over my diagnosis at such a young and naive age. It is also a huge reason I had such a hard time opening up and sharing my story. There is an enormous amount of negativity associated with being diagnosed with a disease, much less an incurable one. I may only be twenty-six, and I still have a lot of life to live; but, this life hasn’t always been beautiful. I have certainly had my various trials and hiccups along the way. For a very long while, I lived with a hardened heart over my past mistakes and difficulties. And, a lot of those mistakes and difficulties I attributed to my MS, and thought it was to blame. Sure, MS has affected my life gravely in those ways, but overall it’s not actually to blame. I am the master of my life, and unfortunately I let something life changing to allow me to believe the wrong choices I was making at the time, were ok. In ways, I almost let it justify my reasoning for making bad decisions and choosing negativity.

“There are numerous days I struggle to simply wake up and face the day, much less do it in a positive manner”

I also want to point out, that I’m not always happy, go lucky and filled with positivity to the brim. I struggle with negativity daily, especially when my MS is acting up and I don’t feel like I can be the person (or wife, mother, friend, etc.) I long to be. I live with a lot of fear – fear of the unknown. I struggle with worrying about my MS progressing and stressing over the fact that one day I certainly may not be in the same good health that I am today. But, being so young, I feel it is my duty to my husband, my son, family and friends to face each day with a positive, exuberant spirit.  I only get one shot at living this life, and I have made a decision to live each day to the fullest. Not every day is easy, by any means. There are numerous days I struggle to simply wake up and face the day, much less do it in a positive manner. I worry and stress a lot over things many people my age don’t have to. In fact, I just spent the last half of this month stressing badly over finding the right insurance coverage for my son and myself. Things like that do make me bitter. It makes me bitter that I HAVE to have good medical insurance that is outrageous in cost, and bitter that I have to make what seems like hundreds of phone calls just to make sure that we can afford my MS medication–The medication that I need to counteract the side effects of MS that could leave me debilitated, or worse.

“I may not be able to choose what MS throws at me, but I CAN choose how I deal with it.”

But, after weeks like this last one of stressing and worrying over things out of my control, I am humbly reminded that although those things stink (for lack of better words), I still have SO much to be thankful for. I am so beyond grateful for my sustained health thus far, for my beautiful little family, and that I am able to run after my toddler and play with him daily. I am all too aware that one day, this good health may not be my reality. I have just had to learn over time and many trials that I get to choose daily whether I am going to have a good day or a bad day, despite my circumstances. I may not be able to choose what MS throws at me, but I CAN choose how I deal with it. And, that’s why I choose to wake up with a positive heart and spirit no matter what. Even on the bad days, I must choose happiness and a positive attitude, for my own sanity. Although my life hasn’t always been what I’ve imagined, it is what I make it, and I choose to make it a happy one-no matter what!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (5)
  • Julie
    2 years ago

    I was diagnosed with MS 15 years ago. It was a very confusing time for me. I hadn’t even heard of this disease and here I was trying to figure out all that comes with it.

    Of course I did what most people do and went to the internet (what did people do before it?). I consumed everything I could on it but that still wasn’t enough. I started looking at support groups online. This was back in the day when MSN had boards, a lot of them for illnesses.

    I’ve always been a pretty easy going person so I was looking for a group I could be comfortable with. I was shocked at how many of the groups were just constant whining about their lot in life. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard just reading some of them. I moved on. They weren’t what i needed.

    I eventually found a group that was not only fun but funny and a bit irreverent about living with MS. 15 years later we are still a group. Most of us have met, taken vacations together and basically just enjoyed each other. We all know we have rough patches in our lives and we comfort each other thru them. But we don’t allow anyone of us to sit on the pity pot for very long.

    It’s understandable, everyone gets frustrated but if you wallow in it too long it’s going to bring you down into a dark place that you don’t want to be, trust me, I’ve been there. We have lost a lot of our good friends in our group. 5 of them in the past 5 years. We still uphold each other and encourage. It’s good for us to be able to talk to each other that understand what we are going thru. It does a lot for your attitude. I can’t recommend it enough.

  • potter
    2 years ago

    I am also fighting the insurance battle, my husband wants to retire when I am old enough to get Medicare. So the best scenario I have come up with so far, is that we have to pay $1000 a month for the medicare, supplemental insurance and supplemental drug program and the drug co-pay. I also found out that cost goes up every year as you age. I am glad that date is a year away, we’ll find out if Trumps plan is better or worse for us. My attiitude toward MS is that I am in a battle and I am not going to let it win. So far I am winning. Potter

  • jennyb
    2 years ago

    At about you age, I had a husband that didn’t work, my mother had died of pancreatic cancer, I wa diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease (lymphoma), had major sugery and chemotherapy for 9 months, and I luckily had a job I loved, but it didn’t pay much.

    After a new marriage, another bout with Hodkin’s, a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, and at 60 a diagnosis of MS, I am here to tell you to get over it, get on with life, and be thankful you had a diagnosis so early and at this time. I’m sure you are thankful for all of that, but no matter how bad things look, there is always someone who has things worse.

  • 1qx60wg
    2 years ago

    Calie: I am glad you are trying to be more positive about yourself and stop blaming MS. I was diagnosed at 49, after raising two wonderful children who are now young adults. They struggle with accepting my disease as much as I have. It took 7 years for Dr’s to diagnose my MS, so by the time they did it was primary progressive. For a while I felt sorry for myself. But not for long! I am the type of person who grabs the bull by the horns and faces everything head on! This disease was not going to beat me! I am determined to live the best life I possibly can. I have always trusted in the Lord and lived on faith that he would not put upon me that which I could not endure. He gave me the will, strength, and wisdom to find ways. I assess how I feel daily, decide what I need to do, and what I feel I’m able to do. I talk myself up and try not to falter. If fatigue hits me, I sit down and rest. Then I talk myself up again. You must be your own best friend and cheering section. The Lord helps he who helps themselves. Surround yourself with positive, genuine people. Negativity is the enemy! My children do everything they can to help. My husband of 17 years ended up divorced during the onslaught of unknown MS symptoms, especially the mental ones (I was depressed, and thought I was going crazy with mood swings). We are better friends now than we were at the end of our marriage, and still have a relationship. He is there for me in many ways. I live alone and it is very hard at times. I know what my capabilities are and work within them. I ask for help at other times. My disease Will progress in the future. I will not get better, but I can always get worse. But I will not let that dictate my life to me now. Always, always count your blessings here and now….

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    2 years ago

    @jennybrownlee4, that is exactly my reasoning for writing this article. I am so sorry you’ve had to go through so much. I was trying to stress the fact that negativity is not an option for me, and I have a hard time dealing with negativity from others with the same diagnosis (because like you, I believe things could always be worse)! I am extremely grateful I was diagnosed so young and am able to live such a wonderful, and most days, carefree life. I am one of the few that does search for positivity daily and hopes to see the hope in even my worst days!

    Best wishes to you. ❤

  • Poll