Around this time six years ago, I began to experience horrible symptoms and I didn't share my pain with anyone. Every time that the anniversary of my first encounter with MS approaches, I get a weird feeling in my stomach. Although it makes me happy to think about how much better I am, the reminder of how ill I was is still pretty terrifying. Believe me. My stomach was in knots when I sat down to write this (lol).
Although I don't always feel so fearless when these anniversaries come around each year, I'd like to think that I grow a bit with each year.
Anniversary #1 (2012) - Still in Disbelief
Anniversary #2 (2013) - Gained a Better Understanding of my Condition and How Life Would Be Moving Forward
Anniversary #3 (2014) - Became a Little Too Fearless [Quit My Medication]
Anniversary #4 (2015) - Decided to Create Chronically Fearless
Anniversary #5 (2016) - Became More Comfortable With Discussing My Condition With Others
Anniversary #6 (2017) - ?
Every anniversary has represented a different step in my acceptance process. I've gone from complete denial to full disclosure to spreading the word about chronic girls on the World Wide Web. So what's the next step?
How can I stop feeling nauseous every time I remember how ill I was? How do I keep from crying when I think of how I couldn't feel the left side of my face? Or how do I forget how bad I felt that my parents couldn't celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary because they were watching me get a spinal tap? Just when all of these thoughts were running through my head my boyfriend dropped an idea right in my lap.
Anthony: "What are you writing about this week?"
Me: "My MS Anniversary"
Anthony: "Oh okay. This is year six. Are we doing something to celebrate?"
Anthony: "Yea celebrate"
I had never thought of that! Why not replace all of those bad memories with good ones?! I've spent the last five years reflecting and accepting. Now it's time to focus on celebrating my good health and my determination.
No, it's not what you're thinking. I'm not going to pop bottles of Moët in the club screaming "Turn Up! It's my anniversary!!!!" (LOL) What I will do is something different and adventurous. Something that I wouldn't have been able to do if I had allowed MS to break me. If all goes well, I can make it a tradition for years to come instead of simply reflecting. I'll pray that in time, my new memories will keep those knots out of my stomach and most of all, KEEP ME FEARLESS.
Stay tuned to learn about exactly how I'll be celebrating! Until next time loves!