Dear Younger Me

Written by on March 27th, 2019 – 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, someone that was newly diagnosed posted a question on a message board that I follow.  She asked what people wish they had known when they were first diagnosed.

The question really struck me, and stayed with me.  I have so many things that I have learned in the past 20-years that I would like to tell a younger version of myself, about coping with a chronic illness, about life, and faith; so, I decided to write this blog post.  First, I was just impressed by the presence of mind and coping she’s displaying to reach out and ask such a meaningful question.  I certainly was much more in a “why me?” “what now?” “how will this impact my life and future?” fear-based mindset, coupled with the relief of knowing there was an answer, I had a disease, and I wasn’t crazy.

This question made me immediately think of the song “Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me.

The first verse goes…

“Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,”

Here is my response both to the song and to the question on the message board. (please note I am not a poet or a musician 😛 )

Dear younger me

There’s so much to say, so much to learn

You don’t have to learn it all today.

Reach out to those around you, to those just trying to help

Your world seems so out of control right now, the future so uncertain

But you have help you don’t understand right now

Your body is not always in your control but you can do so much

Take a deep breathe that’s a bigger help and better advice then you understand.

Dear younger me

You see this as a loss,

And it is, but it’s a loss of so many things that weren’t really yours to begin with

Losing this control will teach you so much

About who’s in your life, about who you can trust

You will find people because of this diagnosis

You will have experiences because you will just want to see if you can

You will be stronger, more persistent, more flexible, more understanding. 

You will grow so much.

Dear younger me

So much of the struggle now is fear, fear of the future, the uncertainty

You may not always be able to accomplish what you set out to do

You can’t do everything, but YOU CAN DO SOMETHING

Don’t worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will worry about itself.

Dear younger me

Everyone has an opinion

Lots will share it, some will be helpful

Some will be true, but you aren’t ready to hear it

Some will be wrong or hurtful

You do not have to take that on your shoulders, it’s not your burden to bear

Cast what isn’t true or helpful aside,

Just breathe, rest

Dear younger me

Doctors don’t have all the answers, there’s not one pill that will be the answer

There are other options, you don’t have to rush into treatment

Answers will come in different way at different times

Through faith, through diet and exercise, through other MSers, and yes sometimes doctors

Dear younger me

This disease will be different things at different times

It’s a journey, a process

It’s hard at times, but it’s not always this way

It a constant eb and flow ever changing abilities, symptoms and emotions

The question today will be the answers tomorrow, how you can help others

Just breathe, in and out, that breathe of life is still there for you

Dear younger me

Breathe and rest,

Enjoy life, discover yourself, it’s okay

You are so much more then this diagnosis

It takes, but it will also give you so much more

Dear younger me breathe, just breathe, learn to rest to trust

What would you tell a younger you, or a newly diagnosed you?

2 Responses

  1. Louise Paul says:

    Hi my name is Louise, I would tell my strong younger self to “listen to your body, no matter what anyone says!” I began experiencing numbness & dizzy episodes &searching for what was wrong with my body since year 2000 even asked my doctor & the many Specialist that she sent me to about MS after I tested “normal”…”No Louise”. Symptoms continued I went on MD site entered my symptoms & MS was what came up..ButThe 1st Neurologist I saw said there was “nothing wrong with me ,some people say thing wrong to get attention”, which made me feel stupid & crazy! But I knew my body was telling me something IS Wrong! This 2002 MRI showed pineal gland cyst, so I began semi annual mri’s in Toronto reviewed by different Neurologist, whom I had asked about MS too, he also looked at me questionlly & said “No Louise”! …so I thought I was covered. I wasn’t diagnosed with with MS for another 11 years later when my husband & I moved back to hometown 4hrs away & new Neurologist assigned to view my now annual pineal cyst MRI. He contacted my new family doctor to adv I had MS lessions!
    Omg…I was happy someone verified my “imagination”! But the MS has continues to progress. Now 19 years since I began my search I have secondary progressive MS & my motor skills and balance are very bad, unable to work & constantly trying to keep my spirit. My nickname was MIGHTY cause I’m small but could do anything I set my mind to!…not MIGHTY anymore ):

  2. Alison says:

    Faith is key. Read the Bible everyday. Grow in faith and trust.