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The Yin and Yang of MS: Love and Hate

One day, while feeling especially reflective and pondering over the plethora of aspects that living with Multiple Sclerosis brings, I wondered how much of a challenge it’d be to ascertain if there were any parts of such a dire condition that I could find (personally) favorable. Though dubious of being successful for obvious reasons, the irony was that I, in fact, thought of several. This prompted further reflection and with amusement, I happened upon an idea that was there were two relative aspects of the same experience. There were opposite yet complementary relationships – favorable and unfavorable. What I discovered as pleasing to me are also displeasing.. what I like, I dislike too.. what I deem positive is also negative… my likes are dislikes as well and, what I love, I hate… the yin and yang.

My MS Yin and Yang

Five things I love about MS

  1. MS has made me recognize and appreciate the strength I possess
  2. MS has prompted me to stay readily prepared… always thinking steps ahead
  3. MS has afforded me the opportunity to express myself and allow my voice to reach many
  4. I’ve found several hobbies that I may not have discovered if still employed
  5. I love that I have assistive devices that do make some challenges due to MS, like mobility, less fatiguing

Five things I hate about MS

  1. You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have… MS leaves me no choice
  2. MS has deprived me of the pleasure of spontaneity and full independence
  3. Sharing my challenges with MS sometimes makes me feel as if I am a ‘whiner’ or a complainer at times (And I am SO not!)
  4. I enjoyed, and was quite good at, my job. I looked forward to retiring when it was ‘my’ time and not an MS dictated time
  5. I hate that because of MS, I have a need to use any type of assistive devices

MS is the common tie

According to Chinese philosophy, everything contains Yin and Yang. Although they are totally different… opposite… in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate. MS is the common tie of the aforementioned ideas and without reflection, I may not even have recognized that there’s a relationship between the two for me. Without hating one, I am unsure if I would find love in the other, or vice versa. The things that I see as propitious that stem from living with MS are also inauspicious; that which is up I also view as down, that which I recognize as enhancements in my life, I too consider troublesome. On a quiet, thoughtful day, while reflecting on the perils of living with this chronic disease, I discovered my own Yin and Yang for MS – love and hate.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • DeniseC
    2 years ago

    Ying Yang
    – Same as you. I can get back into some hobbies now that I dont work
    – I now have a cleaner
    – I have to exercise everyday if I want to stop the muscle wastage in my legs from getting any worse.
    – I have to exercise everyday if I want to stop the muscle wastage in my legs from getting any worse.
    – Pain
    – The cost of taking so much medication
    – Spasticity and having trouble getting my legs to move
    – Knowing what to say to your friends so that you get to keep them.

  • Julie
    2 years ago

    Through MS I have met and vacationed with several other MS’ers I have met online. The best, most wonderful, funny and helpful people, bar none. I would have never met them if I had never been diagnosed. We are all from different corners of the states yet we managed to come together and have a blast 4 years in a row.
    One by one they started dying. One from MS related problems, 4 of them from different types of cancer. I still have a picture of 5 of us, I’m the only one in it still alive. I had the pleasure of their company and friendship for 10 or 11 years. One of them I loved like a sister.

    So how do I measure the yin and yang of this? Am I better off having known these wonderful people or would it have been easier on my heart if I had never known them?

  • DeniseC
    2 years ago

    So sorry to hear about your MS friends Julie. Being on medication that suppresses your immune system is a challenge. Wishing you all the best. Know that we are still here online.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Wow Julie.. I’m so sorry for your losses.

    The fact is,we are only on this earth for a while so whether it was them or other loved ones, death was imminent at some juncture.

    With that said, in the event your question was not rhetorical, I suppose you could measure your yin and yang as follows:
    The part you hate is that you suffered a loss, but the part that you love is that the time they were in your life, the love and experiences shared were so very enriching for all of you.

    Positive thoughts, positive vibes to you, fellow warrior!

  • potter
    2 years ago

    I use to work so much with my business I would have to write out a schedule every night for the next day. Most of the time I worked from 8 am to 9 pm. I have found what a luxury it is to move slowly and enjoy the people around you. I still haven’t gotten over the quilt of not accomplishing at least one thing each day. I guess old habits are hard to break. Potter

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Yes,Potter, I guess they are because I have the same feeling sometimes. I then I remember that it’s my ‘new normal’. Take care!

  • daria
    2 years ago

    Right now, I am so tired of “being strong”. I want a nap! And there I go, always trying to make light of the heavy weight I have to bear.Not my choice to bear it, but is there any alternative?

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Nope.. No alternative at this juncture,, and I get it, Daria.. I absolutely get it. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

  • Colphin
    2 years ago

    I wrote an article once on the same topic. My reflection was ” I move slowly now, and thus have time to chat with people i wouldn’t have before, Its a bit harder to talk as much so i listen more, The future is tough to understand so right now means more. This all became really clear to me one day when i was TRYING to make my way up a busy street in the City. I was exhausted and really slow. I got chatting to a homeless guy selling papers. He was really nice, very helpful and very smart. Huh! I had rushed up and down that same street for years and never once stopped for anyone. Its not that there are any good bits from MS, but some bits we can maybe use to our advantage.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Exxxxactly, Colphin! I love how we can all come together with the same idea with different words for the same overall experience! Thanks for your comment.. Hang in there!

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