What? So What? Now What?

brain tabsOver the last few weeks, I’ve been speaking with someone who’s recently had an MS diagnosis.

With their permission, and anonymity, here’s what we talked about:

To begin with, I answered their questions about the practicalities of MS – the drugs, the DVLA, etc.

All well and good but it was clear that this person was struggling and trying to put a brave face on it. Like many of us, they had never faced such a seismic shift in their health and the impact it could have on everything in their life.

We talked some more, but it felt a bit ‘woolly’. Unusually, I had a minor brainwave, and thought about my current reflective essay for Uni. How could we harness this and develop a new plan, a reconsidered way of living, alongside reflecting upon and coming to terms with the diagnosis?

The reflective model I use is deceptively simple – What? So What? Now What?

What?what’s happened? How did you get to this point and what has happened along the way?

So What?what will happen as a consequence? What will change/stay the same? Which areas have been impacted the most?

Now What?what can we do next? How can we adjust and adapt to what’s happened? What will the future look like?

As a (very) brief example to ensure anonymity, here’s mine:

What?rapidly-evolving MS, constant relapses, diagnosis and swift decision needed regarding treatment. Partner leaves, the meanie. 

So What?bullied at work due to diagnosis, sacked, legal case, drastic change in health, need to find new job. Abandoned by some friends.

Now What? make sure The Teenager is ok. Work out what I really want to do, i.e. write. Learn WordPress and start blog. Find new job which will fit in to new lifestyle.

The beauty of this is that it allows you to empty everything onto a large sheet of paper, with just a few coloured Sharpies. The ability to pour out everything, all those niggles that float around at night and all those fears is truly cathartic. I wish I had done it back then; life may have been a lot simpler.

And, why stop there? It’s a great way of keeping up to date with yourself. Say, if you do this every year or so and keep your old reflections, it’s a fantastic way to see how far you’ve come. When I wrote my current one out last week, it seemed quite remarkable how much my life had changed, the majority of it for the better. Try it, you may just be surprised…

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6 thoughts on “What? So What? Now What?

  1. Randy says:

    Well done! You now see MS as a seasoned veteran, thank you for saying it.
    Reminds me of the poem:

    You will never see me FALL

    You may see me struggle
    but you won’t see me fall.
    Regardless if I’m weak or not I’m going to stand tall.
    Everyone says life is easy
    but truly living it is not.
    times get hard, people struggle
    and constantly get put on the spot.
    I’m going to wear the biggest smile
    even though I want to cry.
    I’m going to fight to live
    even though I’m destined to die.
    even though it’s hard I may struggle through it all.
    you see me struggle… you will NEVER see me fall.

  2. Tricia says:

    Yet again you hit the nail on the head, great read again. Love your work, please keep it up xx

  3. Kiran says:

    Thanks again and this time for a useful and insightful tool – thanks for caring enough to share.x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It’s so simple, but so good to get all the whizzing thoughts out on paper, whether positive or negative. Always room for improvement!!

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