Love, life, AND MS? This past year has taught me that they can in fact coexist. I’m Maria, I’m 20 years old, and I have MS. I was diagnosed at the age of fifteen, and hadn’t quite recovered from the shock until recently. When they told me, you have MS, I honestly thought my life was over. I had nothing left to stand on. I had spent the past fifteen years power planning my life down to the last detail. Being told I had MS made me feel blind and lost. No one would ever love me, I was no longer ‘flawless’, and I had no future. I quickly learned otherwise.
When I was seventeen I got an internship for IBM, and by the following summer another one through Intel. I went onto to study Construction Engineering at Oregon State University, and the sense of pride within me that I had lost with the diagnosis was slowly but surely regained. As for ‘love’, growing up I didn’t have a solid idea of what love was. My parents were either fighting or walking on glass, and TV shows were scripted, aka, the Bachelor (sorry ladies but seriously, it’s totally scripted). I dated in high school and college but never really connected with anyone. I started to think it was embedded in me, and that since I never saw what a true functional relationship looked like, I had nothing to go off of. The summer before my sophomore year, however, I started talking to this guy.