I've been quiet lately and wanted to share why as this is an experience that you may be able to relate to. I've found myself feeling quite overwhelmed...I shared my diagnosis with the world and I have received so many messages of support - it has been an emotional rollercoaster. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by such kindness and care, but I didn't really know how it would impact me and I had no idea how to cope with it all.
I created this blog with the hopes of reaching others going through diagnosis and offering them comfort by discussing my experiences and lessons learnt. When I published the first blog, I posted on my social media pages explaining my situation and asking friends and family to share the page. I received such sympathetic reactions from doing this, it actually left me feeling quite defeated. So many messages along the lines of "I'm so sorry to hear this Christina, I had no idea".
Every time somebody expressed their sympathy I was taken right back to when I was first diagnosed and all of the negative thoughts hit me...this is an awful disease, that's why everybody is feeling sorry for me! They know I'm going to have a miserable, lonely life filled with disability. Why have I been feeling so positive when this is clearly something I should still be very upset about?! I felt as though everybody would now see me differently and for the first time in a while I felt 'damaged'. I am no longer 'normal' and now everybody knows it. The outpouring of love and care came from a place of purely good intention but I couldn't help the way I was feeling.
I had been in a great place for months, feeling really positive and healthy! This experience dragged me back down and for the past couple of weeks my symptoms have been more severe and I have just felt emotionally and physically drained. My energy levels are at an all time low (lockdown has probably contributed to this too!) and brain fog consumes me daily.
I need to get back on track. I want to show that having MS does not change who we are. That we are still capable of living a fulfilling life. That this diagnosis is not a death sentence and there are so many reasons to be hopeful. I want to raise awareness about the disease to non-sufferers too, highlighting the message of my last post that everybody's MS is completely unique. Many people assume I am now disabled due to this diagnosis and that I'll no longer be able to work or drive. Thankfully this is not the case...I am completely able to live life as I always have with no limitations! I take medication and some days I need to rest a bit more than the average person but I am still ME.
I'm sure there will be many times in the future where I'll feel I'm losing my ability to cope but I will continue to share these experiences as they are a part of my journey. Mourning the loss of the life you envisioned and accepting this new unpredictable future is a rocky road, but however many bumps I face I know I will always find my strength again.