I've always been a very prideful and stubborn person by nature, so when I first heard of my diagnosis I just looked at it as another force of nature trying to hold me back in life. I was already in a rough spot so I looked at it more as a personal attack and because of my stubborn nature, I HAD to win, I HAD too defeat this!
I think this mentality helped me speak of my MS much more comfortably, though, I didn't make a huge facebook announcement (didn't think that was appropriate) but I did tell all my family and close friends along with some semi-close friends. It was easier to tell them knowing that I was eventually going to conquer this exaserbation so all I thought about was how by telling them they would get to see my healing progress, they would witness my battle, and witnessed my victory! I hope this doesn't sound cheesy or conceded, but it's the truth, it's what worked for ME. I took a quality from within myself that usually does me wrong and used it to my advantage!
As for the blog, I wrote it for several reasons:
- I have a really bad memory, so I thought it would personally help me create milestones along my journey and help me remember important dates, symptoms, and help me remember just how far I have come since my diagnosis.
- I wanted to be able to keep my friends and family posted regarding my progress without having to talk to everyone individually, without having to call a million people, and without having to receive a million phone calls while I was trying to rest. This blog enabled me to use my writing abilities to create a central location that everyone could visit to find out how I've been doing on their OWN time when it is most convenient for THEM.
- Since I was already setting up a blog I decided I might as well use my misfortune to help others, otherwise, I would've gone through all this suffering for nothing! Might as well let someone benefit from it! There is lots of information about multiple sclerosis online, there are lots of books, but you really have to do your research and a lot of the information is not in an “easy to understand” context, so I decided if I was going to spend all his time doing research I might as well convert what I have learned into an “easy to read and understand” context for other people who were just diagnosed with MS (Or for those who know someone with MS and want to learn about it).
So overall my openness derived mostly from my pride, stubbornness, lack of shyness, and for the simple fact that I felt it would be more beneficial to society to not hide it and to just share my experience with the world. I've always loved writing but unfortunately I have always suffered from writer's block.... Now, ironically, I had and still have something to write about, and to top it off, I now have the opportunity to actually HELP people and make a difference in their lives through my writing!
I am not ashamed of my MS, I don't understand why anyone would be, we didn't CHOOSE this, it just HAPPENED, just as we all get a cold or flu from time to time, nothing to be ashamed of, things just HAPPEN. As long as you are fighting this battle and giving it your all to win, you shouldn't feel anything but pride for yourself, because life is tough on everyone, life doesn't care about your problems or your current situation, life just HAPPENS, so for those of us with MS, not only do we have to deal with the problems LIFE throws at us but we have to deal with the MS on top of that! So again, I do not understand why people are embarrassed or ashamed of their MS, all it means is that we have to work extra hard to live our lives, if you ask me, that deserves a Golden Star!
What I want EVERYONE to understand is that I am not stuck with MS, MS IS STUCK WITH ME!