Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is famous for her understanding of grief. She identified 5 stages:
At the beginning you were shocked and could hardly believe what the doctor just told you. Life with a chronic illness is something you never imagined. You may have started a frantic search for answers. In today’s world, we search the internet to find out more about our particular illness.
You have to be really careful not believing everything you read on the internet.
When I was told by the neurologist I had MS, I didn’t believe it. My mom, a much more rational person, quickly got on the internet and learned what MS is. Of course she didn’t believe it all hook line and skinner, knowing that just because it’s written doesn’t make it true. It was a mistake that I didn’t pay attention to my first symptoms.
I knew about the five stages of grief . We must put the knowledge of this disease in the back of our mind. Always remembering it’s there so we take care of ourselves, not in the front to spend all our energy and focus on the disease. I took Elizabeth’s advice and mourned the loss of life as I had expected, then began to identify my new reality.
Sometimes you get very angry at life for what is happening. You get angry with everyone, family and friends, because they don’t understand what you are going through.
Getting angry is normal under these circumstances. Nobody can blame you and don’t blame yourself. Understand that it’s part of the process you are going through and put your mind to work on getting pass it.
You will start negotiating, bargain, with God to make this illness disappear in exchange for all kinds of promises. You might feel you are being punished for something you did before in your life.
This is something that everyone new to having a chronic illness will go through. A feeling of hopelessness about the situation grows inside and you start wondering how you are going to spend the rest of your life this way.
Most people – you too – managed to get beyond this point without having suicidal thoughts but since you or whoever is going through this problem is not going to want to talk about it, your family, especially your immediate family, should alert your doctor if they suspect that depression is worsening. Your doctor can prescribed an anti-depressant to help during this period.
This is the light at the end of a very dark and frightful tunnel. You realize that life is what it is. You finally move into the state that allows you to realize that you have to live with the illness and start looking for ways to improve your life.
I found my purpose in my circumstance and I honestly have been able to put MS in the back of my mind, not in the front.
Building a strong positive attitude towards your new reality is the foundation you are going to stand on.