Find Your Tribe
As my son was napping earlier today, he had what I think was his first nightmare. He started crying and was frantic, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying because he was so upset. I don’t even think he was fully awake, but he was scared. I did my best to calm him and took him into my arms over to the rocking chair. After some consoling and rocking, he was back to being fast asleep. My diagnosis and first 12 years with MS were very similar to a real-life nightmare for me. It wasn’t until I found a group of people to be my anchor and help console and rock me through it that I was able to relax and realize it was going to be OK.
Having people with MS in your support system
In my recent article, Advice For The Newly Diagnosed, one of my points was about support systems, but I feel that this is such an essential part of life with MS I wanted to expand on it. Support systems are such an integral part of having MS. For me, after being diagnosed as an early teenager, my family, friends, and doctors were my primary support. And I loved it and loved them for it. However, there’s something so comforting in having a support system compiled of people who have MS, too. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I found that. The funny thing is, I’ve never personally met these friends; we live miles apart, but I love them nonetheless. And, I can’t wait for the day we do meet and can share our sorrows and victories in person. They are there to listen, to understand, and to help comfort me on my bad days. Also, I do the same for them. We have each other to lean on when the days get especially tough. We can share heartaches, unbearable symptoms, and triumphs too. We are there to ask the other if what we’re currently going through is normal, and in my opinion that makes me feel a little less crazy for it. We encourage one another, and encouragement with something like MS is vital.
The ones who lift you up and motivate you
It’s similar to a child having a nightmare, as mine did. All they need is warm comfort and support when they’re frightened, and soon they’re back to normal. While with MS we may never be back to “normal,” we do find our own normal. And part of finding that new normal for me was finding my backbone through a good support system. My family, my friends, and my MS friends! Each one plays such an important role in keeping me going through this crazy ride. One of my biggest pieces of advice would be to find your special support system but to especially find others with MS who fully understand the everyday battles. The ones who are with you through good and bad, and are there just to talk; who are there to report new symptoms to, and say “Hey I’ve been there too.” These positive MS friends are ones who aren’t there to compare or bring you down. They are the ones who lift you up and motivate you to fight through another day. I have found I would be lost without my people! You know that quote, “find your tribe and love them hard,” well, I couldn’t agree more. Weed out the negative people and the people who bring you down, and find those that support you, help you, love you, and motivate you. These are the people who will help carry you through some of your worst days. Go out there, and find your tribe!! It has been a life changer for me.
How many specialists did you see before finding "The One"?