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I Do NOT Have MS

March 25, 2012

Often people will say “I have a cold” or “I have the flu.” What they are saying is that in that moment they are experiencing a cold or a flu. They are not saying it is part of their identity because they know it is temporary.

If I say ” I have dirty dishes,” I am basically telling people I need to wash my dishes. Yet when I hear people say “I have MS” or “I have Cancer,” it somehow, at least from my perspective places ownership on the dis-ease, like my identity is “I am diseased”. So  “having it” becomes who they are.  I imagine for many this story works and they feel validated by expressing it this way.

I on the other hand, I feel differently. Although I catch myself occasionally thinking or saying this to myself for others, I consciously making the choice to not express my experience of MS in this way. I believe it creates and keeps a story alive in me that I am ill and broken. I already have enough old baggage around these types of messages that I do not need to add MS to the pile of brokeness or as an excuse to not live my life fully.

In the early stages of my diagnosis, the first six months to be exact, I was in denial. I just wanted whatever was in my body causing new and big problems like severe fatigue to leave immediately. I was told my a healer at that time that this was possible. I wanted so bad to believe this to be true. If I just followed her advice, I would be healed. I was so vulnerable and raw  – she was going be my saviour. I thought a saviour will take away all my pain and suffering so I can be whole again.

Yet the biggest gift in that journey was that when the healer  defected from my life, I then had to deal with my truth. At that time, my truth was that MS had entered by bodyand  was impacting my life in a big way. I could no longer deny this fact. By wishing it away, it was actually bringing me more suffering and prolonging all the suffering I already felt.

When I finally got my butt to counselling to deal with my grief around the diagnoses, it was my therapist who helped me to see how I could acknowledge the MS when I felt its presence in my body, yet not take ownership of it like it was “ME” and I was “IT” – rather to see it come and go like a visitor who comes over for tea or an overnight visit and then says goodbye. Okay, at this point I can’t see the visit as tea buddy yet. Although I feel the MS is with me more than not, it is not always with me. There are times when I don’t notice it or feel its absence so in this way, the MS is a visitor.

By making the statement “I have MS” would mean it never leaves, it is always there. Then it becomes part of me and who I am. I want to be bigger than the MS so it doesn’t because ME.

The MS society does great work but one thing I don’t care for is their campaign to “fight” MS. This is the opposite of acceptance and allowing what is. This message is a message of resistance or fighting against what is.  In my opinion taking that view is detrimental to my health and well-being. The last thing I feel like doing is fighting. First of all it takes way too much energy and I’m more of a make love not war person than a fighter.

Secondly, waiting for a cure is a load of crap. The pharmaceutical industry makes way to much money of the injectable drugs to find a cure. It cost the average person $20,000 a year for the drugs supposedly “suppress” MS.

I am not waiting for a cure. I am living my life now. I am not fighting or resisting. I am living my life now. Some days I feel like crap and I am living my life with these limitations knowing the next day could be different but right now there are things I can do and things I feel better not doing.

When the MS visits me I am learning how to embrace it and say “hello”. I am doing best to learn to love me as I am whether I have a visit or not. I am learning to allow myself to be how I am without feeling sorry for myself. Or if I do feel sorry for myself, I give myself permission to feel sorry for myself knowing it won’t last forever it never does. In five minutes, I ‘m going to thinking about how hungry I feel and what I am going to eat for dinner.

It really come down to the choices we make about how we choose to label ourselves without being in denial where we are at right in this moment in time.

How do you label yourself these days?


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