This is what I wrote in my profile at MS Connection. I like how it turned out.
Having a diagnosis of MS is one of the best things that has happened to me. Seriously. I would not be the person I am without it—and I like this person better than the manic, multi-tasking, fast-moving dilettante I was before.
Dilettante? I am voraciously curious, and even though I have slowed down, I still struggle with too many interests, too many books, too many things I want to do.
But back to the benefits of MS. Some examples:
- I get to park for free, all day, in metered spaces in Portland
- Priority boarding on airplanes. Yay!
- Being on disability frees me to pursue my passions, like writing, although truthfully, fatigue limits my ability to explore
- I get to brighten peoples’ day. Opening a door for me or reaching down an item from a grocery shelf validates a person. They feel good about themselves.
- Walking slowly gives me plenty of time to notice the details of my surrounding. I live in the moment, in continual gratitude for the beauty of life.
- My diagnosis of PPMS has so far meant I have leg weakness and gait issues. But my thinking is clear and I have great strength in my hands and arms.
- The biggest benefit: I’ve become a better person. More tolerant, a better listener, more giving, more caring.
Before my diagnosis, I moved too fast, tried to do too much, and too often let important things like relationships slide. Now, I have a much clearer understanding of who I am and what I can offer in gratitude for my life. I have discovered the great secret—the more I give, the more comes back to me. My inner life is rich and my outer life prosperous.
Disability continues to progress, but every challenge has made me stronger.