When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t really know what MS was, what caused it… I didn’t know that there wasn’t a cure available. It seemed the more and more I learned after getting diagnosed, the more I didn’t want to believe it all.
I’ve come to realize, and explain to others that get diagnosed with MS and their loved ones, it’s that we seem to go through a phase. It’s almost like a grieving process, because in a way you are grieving what used to be and trying to find your footing in this new journey.
This can be said for many other illnesses out there, not just MS. I’ve come to give a slight comparison to grieving a loss. There are the steps you go through; Denial, anger, depression and acceptance.
You’re sitting there thinking that the doctors and tests are wrong. You don’t believe what is coming out of their mouths. You aren’t accepting the MRI reports, etc. You know that as long as you deny it, you don’t have to be accepting of it. Things won’t change. Your regular schedule & life will not go up in flames. Now, I’m not saying that being diagnosed, that our lives are over… not by any means. But at the time, for me, it was just devastating and I didn’t want to believe any of it.
Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Is this karma? I was so overcome with so many emotions that it got to the point that I was extremely angry. I was taking it out on my husband, and my family, when all they were trying to do was be there for me. I’m ticked off that I have to undergo all these tests, and there is nothing that can fully stop what is happening to me. I was mad at myself, thinking that in some sort of way, I did this to myself. Not sure how, but I did it. I don’t want to hear ‘sorry’… I just don’t want to have to go through this at all. It’s like an emotion overload, and the one that pushes to the front to express itself is anger.
At this stage, I was coming to terms with everything that was going on. I was sitting there, silently taking everything in and just not wanting to participate. I could literally sit there, surrounded by friends and family that were having conversations, and I just didn’t want to be a part of it. It’s like being an outsider, looking in. You’re there physically, but emotionally you're worlds away. Because again, we’re overloaded with emotions and questions and it’s just so much at once, that we just get depressed. Now, this isn’t for every person diagnosed, but I had to make a lot of changes, due to my flare up. So I had to stop doing certain things that I really enjoyed doing, and that added on to my depressive state.
This is a hard one to describe. I got to the point that I had to get up and do something. I had to start fighting back. All that anger and depression drove me to get the kick in the rear I needed to get my life back, as much as I could. I started really listening to the doctors and figuring out what I need to do, to be the best I could be while living with MS.
Now, let me tell you… there is no time frame for these stages… it’s also not something that everyone goes through… maybe they only experience some of them. But I wanted to share what I went through. I still have to go through these stages over and over, it seems. Every time a DMT (MS med) fails me, I tend to go through the same stages. Because literally WHY? Every time I have a relapse… I’m going through the stages again. I always come back to being ‘me’ again, but I just need to go through those emotions on the journey.
Anyways, everyone hang in there. Y’all aren’t alone in this… what you’re going through and/or feeling isn’t wrong. You have the right to feel what you want to feel. You have the right to deal and process in anyway you need to. I just wanted to give a little insight on what it was like for me.
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