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Emotional Steps

By Aaron Edge
November 20, 2022

This year marks the nine-year anniversary of my multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Speaking of, “anniversary” really is the wrong word, for it’s obviously not something worth celebrating.

As I type, I have chills running up my spine, remembering the small room where I was given the bad news. By that point, my neurologist had tested me for any and all other reasons that my pain and numbness could be caused/explained. March 6, 2013, a day understandably difficult to forget. I called it a curse for many years.

A diagnosis of disease caused me to roll through many emotions. Mine were, no doubt, very similar steps that you (or your loved ones) may have felt:

  1. Despair on the news
  2. Disbelief of the severity
  3. Denial of the diagnosis
  4. Damage reporting
  5. Depression for the future
  6. Defying the disease altogether
  7. Daily affirmations of positive thinking
  8. Daring to be a torch bearer
  9. Dialing in with friends and family

All of them are incredibly important stages to feel—in my opinion—in any order, and even toggling back and forth over our lives when facing disease. Perhaps some of you have skipped some and made peace along your path.

We all follow our own path, one that is not always chosen by us, but it is still certainly for us. My path may be similar to yours, or very different. But, it’s of comfort to me, and I hope to you, that even if we don’t see each other on our paths, we know that we are not alone.


Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know has been newly diagnosed with MS, access information and resources on the Society website.

Aaron Edge

Aaron D.C. Edge is an American writer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and experimental musician living in Portland, Oregon. He spends non-creative time on cycling adventures and trail runs. Though he has been suffering from a multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2013, it hasn’t stopped him from doing his best to keep a bright torch of strength lit for others—and for himself—as we all follow through life on twisting, unknown paths

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