It’s Not My Fault…

I don’t know about everyone else, but when I was diagnosed with MS and did some looking up online to find out all the information I could, I kept thinking in the back of my mind, “Did I do something to get this?”

Obviously after much research online, I came to the conclusion that there is no ‘evidence’ that I, personally, did anything to get MS, so technically it’s “not my fault”. I really do wish there was SOME sort of explanation as to why I got MS, but that is still unknown.

The unknown still doesn’t stop my questioning though. It makes me think back (which my memory is no good, thank you MS) and I can’t really pinpoint something that ‘started’ my MS… I’ve always been a klutz, broke my first bone at 5 years old… so I can’t go off of when I lost my balance, or it became weakened… because I have never really had good balance.

That’s isn’t the only thing I thought can be  ‘my fault’ when it comes to MS either. Now I’m crossing my fingers and toes (trying to at least), that this isn’t a common occurrence to any of you readers… but I have had people say it’s my fault that my MS is the way it is. That it’s MY FAULT for my symptoms and how severe they get.

Some even say that I either make it up… or want pity… or just use MS as an ‘excuse’… Well let me just say this to those people who like to be rude and inconsiderate to any person living with a chronic illness. WE CANNOT CONTROL IT!

For example, if I make plans to do something with a group of people… and I’m REALLY excited to do it. I keep talking about it with others, planning it all out (on paper of course, because that needs to be done for me), and everything else you can think of. Then when it comes down to the day that I’ve planned and am looking forward to, my body tells me “Uhm, nice try… I don’t think so. You aren’t going anywhere.” **Yes, it’s sometimes easier to make it seem like my body talks to me, cause it does in its own way**

So I have to inform others that I won’t be attending the certain event/party/etc. that I had planned on going to, because I just can’t get out of the house today. Can you imagine some of the reactions I get? No? Well, let me tell you what has happened in the past…

When I go to tell the people that I can’t attend, they ACCUSE ME of doing it on PURPOSE! Uh hello! I can’t tell my body, “Hey Body… can you tell my MS to rear it’s ugly head on this certain date and this certain time, so that I can used it as an ‘excuse’ to not do something.” It sounds crazy right? Well that’s basically what people are accusing me of when they say I DID IT ON PURPOSE.

If you haven’t learned already from my previous articles, I’m not the kind of person to beat around the bush and I don’t have a filter when it comes to keeping things to myself that I feel need to be said, regardless. So, if I’m invited to a party or something, I’m not going to say yes, then make an excuse up on the day of the event… If I don’t wanna go, I’ll just flat out tell you I don’t wanna go. Or if it’s something that I don’t think I can handle.

If I’m going through a hard time and am invited somewhere, I don’t give a for sure answer because that is just not possible. I will probably say, “I would love to, but I’m not going to give a definite answer right now, need to see how what I’m going through with my MS gets better.”

Even if I did do something, like over do before the certain event, nobody has any right to tell me it’s my own fault. It’s called compassion, use it. How would you like it if you had to rearranging your whole life, as you knew it, to these new, chaotic circumstances?? Easier said than done… am I right?

So these are some of the situations, of course not all because that would end up being a short novel… But I gave some of these situations to explain how I came to the conclusion that what I go through with my MS is NOT MY FAULT or any of ours for that matter.

I don’t need to make excuses for the way I live my life. I live my life the way I do because it brings me the most happiness from my actions. I don’t need an outsider’s approval if I’m doing the right thing or not. There is no ONE WAY for all of us as patients to live. We have to accommodate to our own personal situations and make the best of it.

If anyone is at fault in this type of scenario, it’s the person placing blame… for not being educated enough about multiple sclerosis, before making their ignorant statements. Just because I don’t react to those ignorant statements, or any other individual living with a chronic illness, doesn’t mean the statement doesn’t hurt. MS has affected many different parts of me, physically and emotionally, but the numbness doesn’t spread to my feelings.

Think before you speak, have knowledge about what you’re speaking about before you make an ‘educated statement’, and be kind. Not one person with Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, etc. is at fault for getting the illness and how it affects us on a day-to-day basis. Ignorance, however, is someone’s fault.

I think that this could coincide with my previous posts about ‘Things People Should NOT Say” and “Can’t Make this Up”.

So just remember… if you have been in any these situations like I have, you aren’t alone and you aren’t to blame for how your illness affects you. We can’t control what part of our Central Nervous System (CNS) that MS attacks, after all.

xoxo
Ashley Ringstaff

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