I have had some insightful conversations this week with people who have only known me since my MS diagnosis.
Without wanting to inflate my dented, bruised ego, they have all remarked on how positive I am.
Who, me? (looks behind, just in case). Well, yes, I guess I am in some ways.
“O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us” as Robert Burns, that famous Scottish poet wrote – or in other words, wouldn’t it be fab to see how we appear to other people?
Well, this has certainly helped my little, fragmented and shattered to smithereens sense of self. I too often concentrate on my shortcomings, my weaknesses, my complete inability to fit in with my socio-economic grouping.
So, hey, this is me. This is me with MS, this is me living with MS.
I’m not actually doing that badly. The dark tunnel I went through is coming to an end. I’m not the same person I was, starting from that definitive date in July 2011, the day I woke up unable to speak properly (I mean, really, how dare MS do that to me?).
I have been through every single grieving stage, and then some. I have held countless pity parties. I have gulped and cried into my wine glass too many times to mention (plastic glasses, now, of course).
But when I say, This Is Me, who exactly am I now? Am I new and improved? Am I better than before? Hmm. Let’s switch viewpoints. How do I appear to others? That might give me a handy guide as to how I am doing.
Well, I am Campaigning. I am Getting Involved. I am Informed. That aside, what does the future hold, for me, personally?
If I thought I had enough problems trying to date as a divorced single mother of 40, how on earth can I push my way through the dating Meat Market as a 40 year old, divorced, single mother with a degenerative illness, MS? Ahem, not that finding a partner is uppermost in my thoughts (much).
No. As I said to someone today, the best thing MS has done for me, is it has allowed me to battle something alone. To find my own strength and find comfort in being Alone. I don’t want ‘Another Half’. I don’t need to ‘Feel Complete’.
When I find that career and that special other person, it will be on equal terms. I don’t need to be rescued. I just need someone to say. ‘You are you, and I like you’.
‘The cracks are where the light gets in.’