Ever find yourself feeling really bitter about your MS? I am struck by just how much negativity comes out of online forums whenever an inspiring story comes out about an MSer achieving anything physical like running a marathon or even just jogging to keep healthy and stave off fatigue. Sure, when you are so physically limited yourself it could perhaps feel a bit like a punch in the gut when someone else, with the same condition, is able to do all that. But, how about feeling pleased for that person and what they are able to achieve against the odds? Having MS does not have to mean the end of everything. I guess when writing these ‘inspiring’ stories it is really important to maintain a level of sensitivity to those less able while still celebrating those people who can and do push themselves, The Go-Getters as I like to call them.
For people who are new to MS inspiring stories are very important. Thinking back to when I was first diagnosed I remember searching desperately for some ray of hope for the future. Fitness was hugely important to me and I found myself so limited because of the MS, I badly needed to see that there were people out there who were able to exercise while living with MS.
But, I do understand the bitterness (for want of a better word) and I have definitely felt it myself at times. Although I have never felt upset by people with disabilities doing amazing things I have felt totally angry at able bodied people who DON’T do amazing things, or at the very least who choose not to walk somewhere when they CAN! When I was new to this whole MS malarkey I felt angry at people for stupid little things like smoking, how dare they knowingly do harm to their bodies and suffer no consequences for it when I’ve lived a ridiculously healthy life and get lumbered with this c**p?! IT’S NOT FAIR – screamed my newly diagnosed self. Happily I have chilled out significantly since then and I can honestly say that feeling that angry or bitter does no one any good.
First published 8 November 2017