Ever fancied having a nose in someone else’s diary? Here’s your chance. To mark my 8th MS anniversary this Sunday I thought I’d go all out with 2 posts. Today you get ‘Part One: My Diary Entry (in full) 1 Year Post Diagnosis’. Tomorrow I shall post a contrasting piece about where I am now, 2920 days on from that fateful day.
“Thursday 8th Spetember 2011
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of my diagnosis and I can’t express how incredible the last year has been for me. I have come such a long way in those 12 months and honestly feel that I am a different person – much more mature, happy, focused. Life has taken on a much greater meaning to me now and I can see more clearly what direction I want to take and what the important things are. I have been helped enormously in getting to this stage. In the early days, when I was in severe denial, I had so much support and love from my family and boyfriend, which still continues. I feel that my diagnosis may have even made me closer to all those who I love the most. Of course I already knew how much my family love me and how much they mean to me, but getting MS has reinforced this. I know how hard it is for them to see me going through it, they probably feel helpless and unable to contemplate what it is possibly like for me. While I know how I feel and what my limitations are, they don’t, they can only hazard an anxious guess.
During the first 3 – 4 months I rejected any professional help that was offered to me. I didn’t even make a 2nd appointment to see my nurse until the new year, and boy have I needed her since then! I can’t even begin to describe how much her support has meant to me. I say it all the time, but I truly would have been lost without her. She has helped me in ways that no-one else is in a position to do. She knows about MS, she knows what I am going through and recognises the tumult of emotions and ‘grieving’ stages I am going through even when I don’t realise it myself. Of course she has been there for help and advice on the everyday struggles that MS brings, but perhaps more important than that she has offered a friendly, empathetic ear and a shoulder that I would be free to cry on (although I am yet to do that). My nurse doesn’t dance around the truth and facts of MS, she is instead reassuringly blunt and thus enables me to realise that there is no good in hiding from the condition; I must face it and learn to live with it.
Meeting others with MS, particularly those near my age, has been an incredible help to me and one that I wasn’t ready to accept until 5 months after my diagnosis. It’s so reassuring to see others coping well and looking ‘normal’, it gives me a lot of hope and strength. As well as this my counselling sessions have helped me to turn a corner. Almost immediately after my first session something clicked in me and I suddenly lost most of the bitterness and anxiety that I was feeling about how others perceive me. I suddenly felt like my old self; much more lively, easy-going, relaxed and optimistic. I have since had a few moments where I’ve reverted back to despair, but thankfully these have been minimal. I am looking forward to the future, no longer looking back. I cherish the past, even those times where things appeared bleak but I no longer want to cling on to ‘things’; I feel that I need to ditch unwanted material possessions. I’m no longer afraid of change. After all, it is an inevitable part of life and something that needs to be embraced in order to be happy, content and fulfilled”.