The Person I Once Was

By Michelle Barton

I keep reading articles about things people need to know about multiple sclerosis or how to treat people with chronic diseases. What needs to be written is things that are taken away from you slowly from a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis. The ugly things that no one wants to talk about. The isolation you feel because you have to stand on the sidelines and watch. The emotions, like jealously, because other moms can spend all day in the heat at the ballpark or go to the beach and build sand castles and just enjoy it. Anger, at yourself for having a body that is failing you, even though you have no control over getting multiple sclerosis. Then of course there’s the sadness, depression, loneliness, whichever description you want to use as you mourn the things that could of, would of or should of been with your life. I know people say to look at the bright side of things and how I should be thankful because I could be so much worse. Even though I agree with this sentiment of thankfulness most of the time, I’m only human and there are days that I feel every bad and wrong emotion there is. I’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for 17 years now and it’s been a long ride. I learned over and over again how to accept things that I once could do with ease, that now I struggle with. Sometimes I think if I lower my expectations any more with myself, there will be nothing left. But as usual, my MS always finds a way to keep knocking me down a peg or two. I wish in the course of this disease someone would of told me to prepare myself for all of the losses my body and mind will go through. Some days I wonder what will be left of me, or if I will I even know me. Then I remind myself that inside, deep down inside, I’m still me, maybe not the me I thought I would be, but the me I’m supposed to be.

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