Archive for September, 2015

Head Above Water

Written by on September 23rd, 2015 – 4 Comments

By: Andrea, guest blogger

strug·gle
ˈstrəɡəl/
verb
make one’s way with difficulty.

Sometimes, to struggle is to feel the universe reminding us that we need to slow down, realign ourselves, and be more self-aware before we move forward.  Through self-awareness comes balance and endurance.  So, stay positive.  Stay strong.  Ask for help when you need it.  Remember that, you will find your way through this.

AndreaAt this very moment, I’m struggling.  Struggling to keep my head above water.  Struggling to maintain positivity.  Struggling to ignore the signs my body is giving me, telling me to slow down.  Struggling to live life the way I always lived it before; life and work first, mind and body last.  And this scares me, because I know if I let myself hit that wall at the end of this finish line, it’s going to look different than ever before.  And so, I remind myself that MS or no MS, I need to let myself heal and breathe.  I will not hit that wall.  I will not subject myself to the possibility of another exasperation of symptoms by unintentionally neglecting myself.  It feels like I’m failing, when really, I’m failing to see this is an opportunity to become stronger.  I’ve got you MS.  I own you.  You do not own me.

And now, what a moment ago was struggle, is simply a reminder that I need to stop, and take care of myself.  I may not feel like I am able to do as much as I was able to do before, but in reality, maybe I was doing too much, too poorly.  Now I am choosing to do less, and to do less well.

So, stay positive.  Stay strong.  Ask for help when you need it.  Remember that, you will find your way through this.  And you will feel better than ever before.

Sharing Your Story

Written by on September 8th, 2015 – 1 Comment

As long as I can remember I have been a storyteller. I remember in elementary school that I loved anytime we were allowed to write stories. One of my favourite classes in high school was Writer’s Craft. Storytelling is why I got interested in theatre and am now majoring in Drama Studies and even Sociology because I believe that through understanding each other’s stories, we can learn more about our society . And while my love for stories started in fiction, I’ve learned the power of hearing an individual’s personal story through non-fiction, microsociology and understanding the importance of diversity.

As well, I’ve learned through telling my own story. As a storyteller, I’ve been able to work through my diagnosis, treatment and continuous battles of having MS by knowing my story. And by shaping my narrative. I could have easily turned my life into one of self-pity when I was diagnosed. But I didn’t think that was a fun story. So I turned my diagnosis into a story of empowerment, advocacy and community.

Getting involved with the MS Society has given me a number of occasions to share my story of my diagnosis besides contributing to this blog.


The #MSMyStory video series was an amazing opportunity where I got to contribute to a youth-centric campaign where young people, like myself, that live with MS and have family that live with MS talk about the ups and downs of MS. It was incredible being part of this because I got to hear the stories of so many other young people. I got to see that I am not alone in this journey. While everybody’s MS is different, the narratives can be very similar.

I had the incredible opportunity to do an interview, complètement en français, with Radio-Canada. I’ve been learning French for sometime now and this was a personal point of pride for myself. While I didn’t have perfect French, I felt confident enough in my French, and comfortable enough sharing my story that it came easy to speak on air about living with MS. Click the logo above to listen to the story – click on “Vivre avec la sclérose en plaques” to hear my interview and that of Yves Savoie, president and CEO of the MS Society.

The coolest way I’ve been able to share my story (and really the coolest thing I’ve ever done) was being a speaker at TEDxYorkU this year! I’ve a huge fan of TEDTalks and being on the TED stage, speaking about living with MS and learning from vulnerability was incredible!

While sharing my story has helped me work through all the feelings and experiences I’ve had associated with living with MS, the most amazing part has been hearing the feedback, having people share their own stories and having people saying that they’re taking something away from my storytelling.

Storytelling creates a community. And having a community can making living with MS a little easier. Now that community can be a small group of friends and family, or the entire world.

Interesting read…your thoughts?

Written by on September 1st, 2015 – No Comments

I read this information below to a group of people the other day…found it interesting who agreed with which statements! This was from an article posted on the MS Society of Canada facebook page – my thoughts are below each comment… You don’t have to agree with them of course!

11 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with MS

1)  “You don’t look sick.”

–       I have often wished that I would have shaved my head when I was diagnosed … so I didn’t get this comment. The hidden part of this illness can sometimes be the hardest I find.

2)  “You’re still young enough to get better.”

– uh thanks?

3)  “I don’t know how you caught that.”

– Thanks, neither do I? so stop blaming my dad whose a farmer…I don’t need to blame someone in order to feel better

4)  “Don’t they have a pill for that?”

– they have a pill for everything … some are legal, some aren’t

5)  “I have a friend with MS and she never misses work.”

– that’s awesome! I actually have the flu today … not MS ha

6)  “You are progressing so positively, you must not have what they thought.”

– or I’m a rockstar!

7)  “You use it as a crutch.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8)  “How did you get approved for disability and I didn’t.”

– my writing is easier to read … 🙂

9)  “My mom had that, and she exercised and now she is cured.”

– miracle cure …. Awesome!

10)  “If you wake up earlier, you could sleep at night.”

– probably true most days .. but today .. I’m exhausted … MS

11) “It could be worse.”

–       You’re right … it could be (I can’t say I disagree w/ this one 100%.)

–       There was a general consensus .. that when someone with MS tells you this, it’s more acceptable then when just a random person tells you this

 

What are your thoughts about these statements??