Reflections on What I've Gained Since MS

I wrote an article about what MS takes away from life that discussed what the disease has taken away from my life: my independence, fine and gross motor skills, and ability to drive are just a few examples of what I'd noted. The article resonated with many community members. One community member, in particular, asked in a comment if I could write about what I've gained since life as I knew it "was turned into something no one seeks or expects."

The answer to that is I can certainly do so. In fact, when life changed my 'normal' into a 'new normal' by introducing a major curveball, aka MS, oh yes, I had physical, psychological, personal, and occupational gains.

A new outlook on life

To begin, I gained a 'sidekick' upon diagnosis: my cane. And other assistive devices followed. I can't say I was thrilled initially, but I did appreciate the security they provided.

And it may not have happened as immediately as gaining my first mobility aid, or, perhaps it did begin in that little office where I received my life-changing diagnosis. But I have gained a whole new outlook on life, mine particularly. For instance, my life is not to live in regret of what was, but rather what is and to make the best of it.

Additionally, I attained a perspective that allows me to see that although MS is a major feat, I have the power to identify tools that help me to fight without intimidation. I wrote about that correlation with the biblical story of young, small David's fight against the giant, Goliath.

New friends and connections

I have also acquired a few new friends along this MS journey that I probably would not have met otherwise. They were amongst many interesting, helpful, and kind people who were my caregivers, therapists, and nurses. I talk about this in my article MS Brought Me Home Instead of Working.

And lastly, post-MS diagnosis, I even gained a new career and way of helping others. I can't say that I would have ventured into the world of freelance writing, and the chances of being a patient leader providing online support for an MS community would be slim to nil. Yet I love every moment of it!

Overcome and not succumb

So, in conclusion, these are my gains after this horrible disease became a part of my life. Each person has to find ways which work for them in order to develop a meaningful understanding of life. I gained the ability not only to find ways which work for me, but also my very own personal mantra to adhere to, which is to overcome and not succumb.

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