Multiple Sclerosis, Grief then a New Reality

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease where the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder and is rarely terminal. Most people with MS have a normal or near-normal life-expectancy. It is often the quality of life that is diminished.

The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can seem overwhelming. When people hear the news it may take several days or weeks for them to even begin to think about it. When they do start to think, the grieving begins.

Denial is the first stage of grieving. It is a way to avoid the fear and uncertainty of the future. Denial helps survive the loss of the life that you planned on living. Denial is a survival technique to avoid the pain.

Anger is a typical reaction to the devastating news and if you lash out and blame others permanent damage to your relationships may result. If anger is expressed in a way that doesn’t harm others it can be healthy.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ” Gautama Buddha

As the shock and denial wear off it’s common to feel pain and quilt. This might feel almost unbearable it’s so excruciating. It is crucial that we allow ourselves to feel the pain and not escape with alcohol or drugs.

Bargaining is an attempt to control the uncontrollable. You may pray with all your energy questioning “Why me?” You may make promises with hope of replacing your dispair.

After bargaining, the attention moves to the present. In this empty and lonely place when friends and family may think the you should be getting on with life you may isolate yourself and depression may set in. During this time you are confronted with the extent of your loss.

Moving Upward

Instead of focusing on the things you lost, start to accept your life as it is, your New Reality. Your depression begins to lift slightly and you find the beginning of new hope.

Now it’s time to seriously study and learn about your condition. With the knowledge you gain you’ll be able to partner with your health care providers to make informed decisions about your treatment.

As you adjust to your new life it’s important to build a strong network of people who will support you in the decisions you’ve made; people that will accept you as you are and not expect more than you have to give.

You must put the disease in the back of my mind, not in the front. Be aware that it is always there and take care of yourself accordingly. Sleep when needed, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and learn how to say NO, not just to others, but to yourself.

When the condition is at the front of your mind, thinking of it continually, you’re giving up power. By putting it in the back of your mind, you are aware of your condition and it’s like you’re riding the waves, picking up the energy, and letting it move you forward.

You’ll begin to accept ‘your new reality’ – and invest in it. Instead of looking backward to a previous state of health and lifestyle you can now figure out what you can do, what you want to do, and do it.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it’s also full of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller

When you pay attention to all the good in your life it is amazing what you’ll find! You can build new dreams and discover your purpose.

MSrelief.com will help you find joy in your New Reality.

Linda

About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

15 Comments:

  1. This may be the way I have dealt with MS….put it in the back of my mind, new reality of life. Thanks for the Helen Keller phrase, I did not know she said that….

    • Hey Kim! Great to see you here! Yes, I know you are a master at keeping MS in the back of your mind! You give to everyone around you, yet you’re aware of your limits and you take care of yourself!
      Linda

  2. I’m feel great as I across on your site “Linda”Thank’s for sharing with us your healthful tips by these I learned about how multiple sclerosis takes place in our body… These post has a huge help in enhancing our health awareness.

  3. If people will only learn to control their anger and turn it into a productive effort to achieve something better not only for themselves, but more importantly, for others as well, being angry could become positively meaningful.

    • Candice,
      You are so right, we must master ourselves, grieve and move on!
      Linda

      • Honestly, I did a lot of mistakes from not controlling my anger before. From doing wrong things up to the point of verbally hurting others because of my anger. Glad that I no longer have that kind of attitude.

        • Candice,
          I can’t imagine you ever having an anger management issue! I’m happy for you that you have overcome the problem and I’m sure you were never that bad! When we make such mistakes, we hurt ourselves most of all. Now the next step is to forgive yourself for the mistakes that you made and learn to love yourself. If I ever get to it, I’m going to write a post about it! One of these days soon!
          Linda

  4. Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your views are fastidious in favor of new viewers.

  5. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  6. What if the depression is so overwhelming that one can’t overcome it with the good things of life? In my opinion it depends on how you perceive things and how strong is your will. Its just a matter of time and the suffering goes away but it do leaves an impact on one’s mind.

    • Sara,
      I have never suffered from clinical depression. I only know about grief and feeling ‘blue’ both of which can be overcome with time, support, will and a positive attitude. For some it’s not so doable. Sometimes medication is necessary, but either way you’re right, it does leave an impact on our minds!
      ~Thank you for taking the time to comment!
      ~Linda

  7. Its a general thing while we have to get something we have to forget previous loses .

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