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Don’t Judge Me

In the past, I have experienced discrimination when I have had use my handicapped-parking pass. I’ve had people judge me for using the motorized scooter inside the store because I “look fine”.  I can’t even begin to tell you just how many times I’ve been judged, just because you can’t tell that something is wrong with me easily.

Being judged by others with MS

However, being judged by others that are living with Multiple Sclerosis has to be the worst type of judgment I’ve ever received. I’m sorry that you have a more progressive type of MS. I wish that I could take your pain away and that I could help ease your daily struggles. I guess that’s why I write at all, to help those that can’t get the words out share with their loved ones the truth about MS.

Imagine being told over and over again, “You’re so lucky, I’ve been in a wheelchair for so long, you appear to be doing just fine against MS.” Or… “I don’t think you are typical of MS’ers. I guess you can have MS without any real symptoms.” With that being said, I’m not trying to be rude to those who say these things, but I can tell you that they can be hurtful towards people like me that live with a chronic illness with mostly invisible symptoms.

I’m already judged enough

I’m already judged enough, being judged by those who live with the same illness or a similar illness, hurts.

It also makes me feel as if I have no reason to complain since I’m not in a wheelchair or where it is easy to notice something is wrong. As a community with MS, we need to support one another, always. We don’t need to be rude to each other, steal from each other or make each other feel like a bad person, because we aren’t as disabled as others.

I wasn’t always like this

Now let me also state that while I look “fine” now, I wasn’t always like this.

I had to go through physical, speech & occupational therapy shortly after being diagnosed. I had to learn how to walk again, talk again and use basic functions again. I don’t compare my suffering to others that live with MS; I don’t want others to experience what I’ve been through. I’m hoping that we can ALL find a way to stop struggling; by doing what we can to find a cure.

While I have written an article in the past, “You Can’t Compare…”, that was directed to those that DO NOT have MS. I feel like we can’t compare our MS severity to each other in a way to downplay what the other person is going through. In the end, we’re all suffering in some way and it’s not just MS that we deal with.

The “Snowflake” disease

I call MS the “Snowflake” disease, because while we all have MS there are not two identical cases.

We have to come together to lean on one another. We shouldn’t make someone feel bad because they aren’t as physically disabled as the other. At times it feels like others have made it an ‘I’m worse than you are’ type of competition, and that’s not a competition we should be competing in.

Also, when it comes to my writing… I’m writing from my heart y’all. My articles probably don’t come off perfect. Might have some errors here and there, and I’m sorry for that. I’m usually just trying to get all my thoughts out of my head and on to ‘paper’ before they are trapped in my head due to cog-fog, and I don’t want to risk the chance of them being trapped somewhere in my brain forever.

I wish none of us had to struggle with MS

Most of all, I wish none of us had to struggle with MS on a daily basis, if at all. The majority of us do struggle in some way on a daily basis. For those people that do not struggle with a symptom everyday, I’m happy for them. I wish that for all of us. Remember, you never know what OTHER things are going on in someone’s life. It’s easier to pass judgment before knowing the whole story. However, since I have been diagnosed with MS, I’ve tried to not judge as easily as I previously had.

Mental health symptoms

For instance, mental symptoms are very debilitating, like depression or fatigue. While you might have the capability to GET out of bed without aid, you don’t have the want or care to even attempt it. Or you are just that exhausted that moving doesn’t seem like it’s possible at that time. And it’s easier to stay in bed than deal with what awaits you outside of your safe haven.

We’re all in the same battle

So my finishing statement is, let’s be a support system for one another. I know I still have to work on this. We’re all in the same battle, we work better together than against one another.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

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

  • Jeanne
    9 months ago

    I, too, have become less judgemental of others since diagnoses. You never know what someone else is going through. I struggle to keep up at work. I know the time us coming to slow it down. I’m tired from trying to keep up my old pace. Others don’t see the cracks but that is just me trying to keep all the balls in the air. We all struggle with it in different ways. But to judge each other over it. Nope.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    9 months ago

    Thank you for reading my article!
    Glad that you enjoyed!

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • Donnatella12901
    11 months ago

    Thank you for bringing awareness to the state of mind some of us with MS get into, thinking that we have to compete with one another as though some deserve sympathy and recognition over others. I for one dont want to win a competition where the winner is the person most visibly affected by this awful disease. Nor do I want to be an inspiration for those that are effected worse than I am. It is impossible to judge a book by it’s cover, sometimes what lies hidden between the pages is just as terrible/wonderful, if not more so, than the cover itself. Thank you again!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    11 months ago

    I’m glad you enjoyed! We’re already judged enough as it is with our daily struggles… adding to it doesn’t help the situation at all.
    Best,
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • Allan Miller
    11 months ago

    Hi Ashley

    Good posting and accurate commentary. I have SPMS and I have always wanted to be progressive, but not like this!

    I agree about suspending judgement. MS is a commonality for us but it’s a pretty big tent!

    Thanks for your positive attitude and positive directions.

    A
    ~

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    11 months ago

    Sorry to hear that you are progressive – but I’m glad you enjoyed the article!
    Wishing you all the best.

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

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