“Because She’s Sick”
Have you ever experienced someone else’s ignorance or intolerance about your MS? Have you ever had someone make you feel different or isolated from the rest of the world? Well you are not! You have MS but MS does not have you; never let someone feel like less than you are.
This is my wake-up call and message to those who feel this disease defines who we are:
If you’ve realized the cruelty of your actions or the harshness of your words, I applaud you. If you live under the umbrella of believing that your criticisms of my supposed “inequity” are justifiable, then I pity you.
If you believe that you are better off without me because “I am sick,” then I feel sorry for you. While there is a line between you and me because I have multiple sclerosis, it is only there because you’ve drawn it.
You may be better off without me, but it is not because I am sick. You are better off without me because it turns out that I am better off without you.
To put me down for the lesions in my head or the jerk of my knee when I walk is shameful. Overcoming the struggles that come with MS takes more than just a determined mind, it requires a determined heart.
You will not break me.
Drawing strength from within myself is where I start; I move forward with the strength I draw from loved ones. I progress because of others experiencing the same daily struggle I do. I become a more resilient person because of people like you, who try to knock me down for reasons outside of my control. My MS will never be used as a weapon to strike me, but instead, as an anchor to ground me against the wildest of seas and the harshest of words.
You will not break me.
You had your small victory when I fell from my post of confidence and felt that there was something wrong with me for the first time in years.
But you will not break me.
I am stronger now. Nothing will get me to quit; I will never stop trying to beat this disease.
So I thank you. I thank you for building the largest obstacle I’ve had to clamber up yet and for allowing me to build the confidence on my own to get over it and to keep pushing.
I am unstoppable—nothing will distract me from crossing the finish line.
There are thousands of others like me, and we will conquer anything people like you swing at us.
So go ahead and try.