I have. Frequently.
On that fateful day in 2011, when I woke up into a nightmare, I often imagine how it would be if it were just another Saturday.
I would schlep around a flea market, buy some artisan bread, laze around on my sofa like there was no tomorrow.
- I would still be a trusted member of the team in my workplace. The very idea of being sacked for having an illness such as MS (when we, as a company, prided ourselves on, ‘allowing our customers to reside at home as long as possible, with a little care‘) would have seemed like a bad dream.
- I would still be in a relationship.
- I would still be an active parent.
- I would still be awake at normal hours.
- I would still cook everything from scratch.
- I would still have a fully-functioning brain.
- In short, I would be trucking along, just as always.
Instead, I woke up into a beautiful, cloudless day when all that was missing was my power of speech and my balance.
There were no warning signs, nothing unusual, although I was a lot more tired over the previous six months. But that was all it took – a massive, life-changing relapse and everything had altered.
I lost my job, my partner, the trust of my child and my future.
But what did I gain?
Well, when I look back, I would still be in a soul-destroying job, still in a dead-end relationship and still be oblivious to the wonders all around me. Ok, so my brain might not work properly, but what’s writing creatively without a little struggle?
I gained a new direction and a new purpose.
Not all to do with MS – like a lot of you guys, it could have been any life-changing illness. It just makes you wake up, take stock and steer your life in a whole new way.