It can be hard living with a chronic illness that people can’t see and choose to not understand. Just trying to explain why you aren’t a quadriplegic or a paraplegic even though you have lost much of the feeling in your feet, legs, hands or arms is difficult. It seems in their minds that if you have no feeling in them, then you shouldn’t be able to use them.
I love people’s curiosity about multiple sclerosis, especially the young people. Those who ask questions and really want to understand what MS is all about. I admire their questions and welcome them because it gives me a chance to educate people about how my insides really feel and the struggle I face every day.
The people that I have the hardest time with are those who choose to not understand and not care. They could be family members, co-workers, bosses, friends, or even strangers. Their lack of trying to understand is their choice and speaks volumes about who they are as a person. It’s a heart issue on their part…it has nothing to do with you.
When someone attacks your inability to do something or your pain and struggle with statements like “suck it up, it can’t be that bad”…it’s those people who need a moment living with MS to understand that it actually can. If I could give away my MS for just a moment in time, I would give it to those people so they could get a reality check.
What I have learned over the years is that you will always meet people with a lack of compassion or understanding. Don’t let their ignorance get you down. It is showing their weakness, not yours. In a way, they are the real disabled people, not you.
Do your best to walk away (or wheel away if in a chair) and shrug off their insensitivity. Yes, it can break your heart. I know the feeling of not being understood, but you can’t let their insensitivity get in your head and make you think you are “less than” or unimportant and useless.
You didn’t cause your body to turn on itself and begin attacking your own Central Nervous System. You didn’t eat or drink the wrong things, live a bad life or not take the right kinds of supplements. Just like you can’t think yourself out of it, will you body to be whole or think positive enough to make it go away. MS just is.
I know I say it often, but keep your head up. You are going to make it through today. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions about what you should do or how you should live affect you. You are amazing and a treasure just as you are. Take a deep breath, shake off their opinions or lack of understanding and keep moving forward.