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10 Positive Things About Living With Multiple Sclerosis

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A few weeks ago I did a post on “10 Ways Multiple Sclerosis Affects Me” for multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness month. Living with any chronic illness can be ridiculously difficult, but I wanted to counter my previous list and think about the positives that come from it. Sometimes you really have to look for them, but they are there.

1. Trying different things. Having MS means I can’t always do the things I use to do, but this does mean I’ve had time to discover new things. This has included blogging, photography, volunteering and my “splashing around” classes.

2. Appreciating yourself more and learning to looking after yourself. Having MS has taught me the importance of looking after myself. I have always been very sensible but had never considered what I could be doing to really help my mind and body be as healthy as possible. I now do yoga, meditation, eat super healthily, have relaxation times and exercise.

MS has also made me appreciate me. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that my own body was attacking itself, but then I thought how I had spent a lot of my life having negative thoughts about myself…And realized how that was a bit ridiculous too.

3. Realizing you’re stronger than you thought. I always remember seeing people on the telly with progressive chronic illnesses and being so grateful I wasn’t one of them. It was something I thought I would never have the strength to cope with. I’ve now realized there’s no choice but to cope, but I’m doing it and I’ll count that as being strong.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.” – Bob Marley

4. Learning more about who you are. I feel I’ve learnt more about myself in the last three years than the whole of my life put together!

“By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliot

5. Finding new paths. I’m realizing all the paths I’ve had planned out aren’t looking exactly how they use to anymore. It doesn’t mean giving up on any of my dreams, but I now have the opportunity to explore some new paths too.

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.” – Lewis Carroll

6. Appreciating the small things in life. I’m learning to fully appreciate all the little things in life. I’m realizing how happy the simple things can make me.

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

7. Learning to say, “No.” I use to get really annoyed with myself for the amount of times I would say “yes” to people when I really wanted to say “no.” Since being ill, I don’t seem to have this problem as much.

8. Seeing life a bit differently. As well as learning a lot about myself I have also learnt a huge amount about life. Part of this is realizing how a lot of things I use to fuss about just really don’t matter. It’s made me realize what’s really important in life.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. People. You learn who the people in your life are that really love and care about you! Being on this journey is also always giving me the opportunity to meet new people and that’s pretty amazing too!

10. Realizing it’s OK to not be OK. I always thought it was very important to appear as though everything was wonderful at all times. Not being OK is a part of life though for everyone and opening up about things can help others to do the same.

‘Don’t hold together what must fall apart. The familiar life crumbles so the new life can begin.’ – Bryant McGill

What positives have you discovered from an illness or any difficult times in your life? I’d love to hear them.

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Thinkstock Images By: brickrena

Originally published: April 18, 2017
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