I have a confession to make… The charming, positive, all around great gal that metaphorically stands before you, didn’t come easy. Let me back track a minute before the “Ok! No problem, what do I need to do”…. Back to the tears in the car on the highway after leaving the MS clinic (which was an overall positive experience to be honest… Doctor’s are awesome). My Mom saying, “Ashley, this is going be fine, MS research has come so far…. It’s not like it used to be” and me aggressively saying, “I’m allowed to be sad!!!” which was when my mom knew to stare forward, drive and let me have my much needed moment.
I can write to you now, have a positive outlook and really truly be hopeful because of the amount of people (over and above family and friends) that were introduced into my life who had been diagnosed just like me. We chatted via emails and facebook messages, they assured me “we” would be ok, and to this day, I tear up because of how that statement was written. “We” I already had a support team of MS warriors around me and as of today, I still haven’t formally met them.
This is why it is SO important to have a voice. Without mine I wouldn’t have met them, people in my life wouldn’t have known of my diagnosis which wouldn’t have triggered them to put me in contact with someone they knew etc etc etc. So here I was, diagnosed 3 days in and I’m already able to ask much needed questions to individuals who had been living with MS. I had verbal diarrhea through email, apologizing for potentially asking the same question 3 times… The individuals that came into my life, unexpectedly… who didn’t owe me a thing, took the time to help me. When my family and friends were trying to lift me up this unexpected support system kicked me in the ass and said “Move it”. Here I am, trying to pay it forward and offer the same support to others.