Then vs. Now

Ever since I was diagnosed, I went through so many emotions going through different situations. There were situations that I experienced from a completely different perspective. For instance, I remember having a conversation with a friend, and they brought up that they went shopping, during Christmas time. So, instead of parking far away and walking, they used a relative’s Handicap Placard. At that time, I knew it was wrong but I didn’t feel that it was something that I needed to argue or get on to them about it.

If that happened now...

If that were to happen now, I’m almost positive that I would go off about the abuse of it. I’ve been in the situation before that I’ve really needed to use my handicap placard and there were no available spots. As I’m circling around the parking lot trying to find a spot, I see someone skipping (yes, skipping), to one of the cars that is parked in one of the handicapped spots, by themselves. Needless to say, I didn’t keep my mouth shut about the situation. First off, I’m not going to jump the gun, so I asked for the permit form. She laughed, thinking I was joking. This girl is probably about 17 years old. She said that it’s her grandma’s car; I asked if her grandmother was coming out, she laughed and said no. Then got in the car and left. I called the police department and reported it, because I was livid about it.

Social security disability

Another situation I want to talk about is in regards to receiving social security disability. I’ve come across some people that were approved for disability, in a short period of time, that I know personally. I had asked what they did for a living, and they said, “Oh I get disability.” I asked what for, they said for depression. The next statement, “Yeah, I get free money for being “depressed” when I’m actually fine.” They then laughed, at the fact that they got “free money” for a really serious issue.

That person was really an acquaintance, let me just put that out there. It’s not someone that I hung out with on a regular basis, etc. So, after I was diagnosed I had to go through so many different things, which eventually led to me filing for disability. It was a long battle, I was denied multiple times, and ended up having to get a lawyer and go to court about it. I was finally approved, but then found out that I could not receive any money from disability, because I didn’t have enough credits and too many assets.

It's not funny

I ended up seeing this acquaintance again… we ended up having a conversation about my MS, and what I’ve had go through in order to get disability. This person laughed and said, well that sucks for you. Like it was funny… but I wasn’t laughing. I was very emotional about my struggle and I was vocal about how I felt about the humor they were finding in the situation, when there is nothing funny about it.

It’s crazy to think back about how I used to be, and what kind of person I am today. I get that as we get older, we mature and gain knowledge. I gained knowledge personally, going through my own battle. I know that not everyone learns things the same way, cause we’re all different. But I sit back sometimes and just really think over how much I’ve changed, and I can honestly say that it’s for the better. The journey, of course, has been hard and emotional and every so much more, but I truly believe that I am a better person now, than I was back then.


Ashley Ringstaff

(click on my name above for ways to reach me, etc.)

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