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Community Thoughts: The Language of “MS Warrior”

The term “MS Warrior” is a phrase often found and used within the MS community, and we wanted to learn more about how others felt about this name. So, we asked! We reached out to our Facebook community and posted the following question: Do you like the term “MS Warrior”? Or is there another term you prefer to describe your experience with MS?

It generated a really interesting and lively discussion (you can catch the whole conversation here)! Read more to see the top things people had to say.

I love the term “MS warrior”

Many people in our community felt that the word “warrior” really represented how they battle their MS and its many symptoms. It can be a source of strength and motivation for those who face MS head-on and do their best to get through each day despite numerous challenges.

“I love the word Warrior! I get up every day and I have to fight my body! Yes, I am at war with my body and I am a WARRIOR!! You can pick any word you want to describe your own personal relationship with MS. It’s your body and your feelings about it. If you don’t want to put a word to it, you don’t have to.”

“I have absolutely no problem with the term. I look at it as a term of endearment. A form of camaraderie with others. We’re a team battling something that not everyone battles.”

“MS Warrior is fine with me cause we are definitely fighting this monster!”

I don’t use it, but I don’t mind it

For others in the community, the term “warrior” just doesn’t mean much. Whether you’re just not into labels or you don’t connect with the word, you’re definitely not alone.

“I don’t mind it although I’m not really a fan of tag lines. I’m pretty crabby in general, so I find this one better than the stupid (in my opinion) ‘It doesn’t have me.’ Frankly, I’m just dragging myself through this and 23 years after diagnosis, I’m not so much a warrior as just surviving day to day.”

Eh… not for me

Several others noted that the use of words like “warrior” and “fighting MS” make it seem like MS is a battle that can be won. With MS, there’s no winning or losing, just coping and adapting to the changes.

“I don’t like the ‘fighting’ words currently used to describe coping with and managing chronic health conditions. To me, they are an insult, but that is my opinion. Being a ‘warrior with MS’ or ‘fighting cancer or MS or diabetes’ implies one can ‘win’ and it will be over – and it is not ever over in reality.”

“I don’t want to be labeled a warrior because it makes me sound courageous, I am just handling my life from day to day. There are many courageous people in this world… but to me, courage is a choice or decision – MS is not.”

Can’t stand it

The phrase “MS warrior” can really rub some members of our community the wrong way. Everyone’s journey with MS is different, and to some, “MS warrior” feels like it’s making light of MS or implying that if a person “fights harder,” they could get better.

“I’m a person with MS. I’m no warrior, I’m fighting a disease I had no choice in. I’m not a survivor because it’s progressive and I’m in the advanced stages. I’m a person. With MS. I have no time for these silly names. They don’t make me feel better, they seem silly.”

“I hate it, much like any term such as ‘it hasn’t got me,’ (and all the stories of MSers running marathons and the like!)… I feel there is an implication if your disease progresses/symptoms worsen it is somehow your fault for not ‘fighting’ hard enough?”

“Wow, I thought I was the only one who really hated being labeled a warrior. I don’t like the tag warrior although I wouldn’t begrudge anybody with MS who uses the name to give them hope and inspiration. I like to think I’m just ME. No warrior just a husband, father, brother, cousin, and friend just trying to get through life the best I can.

I found a term that fits better

Some community members shared other terms that fit them better, like MS navigator or MS survivor. We love hearing all of these perspectives and learning more about how different phrases and words connect with different people. MS is truly a “snowflake” condition, and no two people are the same, so it makes sense that everyone has their own way of describing their life with MS! Which term do you prefer, if any?

“I just call MS my shadow that follows me around every day, when it is in front of me, I step on it and on days when it is behind me, I try to ignore it. It’s just a part of my life and I carry on…”

“If I have to put a label on it, I would say navigator is more accurate. From day one, MS has been about navigating. First the health care system, and the bevy of doctors who misdiagnosed me for almost two years, and since then treatments, the realities of decreasing mobility and physical limitations, and most often just navigating my daily life while dealing with MS.”

“I would rather be called an MS survivor than an MS Warrior. I will survive MS the best that I can, I do not like the implication that warrior implies that I am fighting a war, which I am against totally.”

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

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    I sure liked the phrase from who posted ms is their shadow made me laugh and still laugh

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    Iam a ms survivor everyday

  • Katie Alexandria
    2 months ago

    I, personally, I don’t like to call myself an Ms Warrior, because as someone else commented above, that implies this is a battle that can be won and in my case, I feel like I am losing this battle. As for others with multiple sclerosis, if certain people want to call themselves a warrior than they should feel free to do so. Whatever makes you feel better about this horrible situation we’re all in, whatever motivates you encourages you to get through this, you all call yourself whatever makes you feel happy. Not trying to sound hopeless or feeling sorry for , I’m just very ill and so exhausted. Much love and prayers to you all.

  • Shelby Comito moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi @katie-alexandria, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts. I hope it’s at least a small comfort to read similar sentiments from others and know you’re not alone in feeling this way. This community gets is and we’re here for you anytime you need support, information, or just a place to vent. Thinking of you, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • JimmyMac
    2 months ago

    I really don’t care how you wish to refer to having MS. I don’t feel like I’m a warrior but I don’t really mind it if people want to call themselves MS warriors. I get stuck in my head a lot. I start to wonder when did I start being an MS warrior just like I wish to pose a question to the folks at my MS walk what do they mean when they scream we want a cure for MS. I want a cure too but think we should define what is meant by cure. Just like we should define what is meant by MS warrior.

  • SueK
    2 months ago

    I am an individual “with” MS. It is an illness and not a label nor an identity. I deal with it as I do any other condition. I am not a “warrior”. That title goes to the brave men and women that protect our country, actually fighting real wars. I am not a “survivor” because this is a chronic condition. I cannot claim to have survived and recovered. I just live my life like anyone else. Facing challenges is a normal part of life.

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    We all have MS what’s hard is at 51 I have other health iss the call normal stuff

  • Shelby Comito moderator
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much for chiming in and sharing your opinion @suek! – Shelby MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • steve
    2 months ago

    People can label themselves in any way. If it inspires or motivates all the better. But in reality we are all MS victims. This doesn’t mean we don’t try to live our best in spite of MS.

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    Absolutely couldnt agree more

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    What about the feeling of de ja vu

  • Tdnon5
    2 months ago

    The feeling of de ja vu still happens because I went to long with out speaking thank you for the concern

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