Fighting to Recognize Myself as Separate From My Illness

A couple of weeks ago I was throwing myself a massive party.

Total number of guests: one.

Type of party: pity party.

Yes, I was wallowing in self-pity wondering, “Why me?” as I reclined comfortably on the sofa, browsing the internet on some device or other.


Fortunately, I came across this quote: “You are not your illness. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is the battle.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Depending on my frame of mind, these Pity Parties can last a couple of hours but this quote hit me right between the eyes as I realized…I’m still me! Separate and distinct from the multiple sclerosis. My own person.

I do admit that on the not-so-great days, it is harder to know where I end and the chronic illness begins. But that is a key part of the problem: when the illness becomes so all-consuming that it becomes harder to see yourself as separate from your illness, those are the days you have to fight the hardest. This is not just a physical battle – these are battles that will be fought in the mental arena.

Hence, it is important to stay positive, stay strong, stay motivated even when it’s hard. Focus on the good and, at the same time you acknowledge your limitations, also acknowledge that the illness is only a tiny part of you. Don’t give it more credit than it deserves because…

You are not your illness!

This post originally appeared on Kerry Ann F.

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