Celebrating a New Beginning on Rosh Hashanah After Letting Go of My Anger About My Illness

As we approach the Jewish New Year, I have more aspiration and hope than in any years past. The High Holy Days for the Jewish people are a fresh start as well as a time to repent for sins made during the past year. This fall marks a new beginning for me as my life as an undiagnosed patient ends after 13 long years, and life as a multiple sclerosis patient on lifelong treatment commences.


Having lived through some of my darkest days, receiving a diagnosis was a relief in ways I cannot describe. Being told my symptoms go along with recent clinical findings provided validation after years of having to prove myself over and over again. Once the shock wore off, I became angry. Weeks turned into months, months into years, years into a decade and beyond. I searched for a diagnosis without resolution, while treatment would have prevented the deterioration that plagues me daily.

Two weeks into my MS treatment, I remember that my new beginning is more important than my angering past. Preventing further damage and praying for possible rehabilitation should be the focus of my energy from here on out. My clinical presentation was unusual, and while I wish physicians would have dug deeper long ago, the past is already written while the future is untold.

I often catch myself daydreaming about fairness and receiving the raw end of the deal. But as Rosh Hashanah arrives, it is my goal to relish in the fortune of what is good in my life: my wonderful boys, loving husband, caring parents and comfortable home. And in the spirit of Yom Kippur, I let my anger from the past 13 years dissolve into emptiness. I’ll cherish today, and look forward to a future as bright as my days allow.

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