How about a helping of guilt with your multiple sclerosis?
As far as I know, we have done nothing to create the MS which has unceremoniously barged into our lives. There is no evidence that it is caused by lifestyle or bad choices. It just “is what it is,” one of those curve balls that life throws your way, and you either handle it well or you don't. It is not a choice. Still, I know that I am not alone in my MS guilt.
I am sorry for what MS has done, and for the burdens it has placed on people around me. So much would have been different but, of course, I have no way of knowing that it actually would be better. Life is funny that way. Every little thing affects every other little thing as we muddle through this world. It is pointless to try to speculate on how things might have been “if only.”
Intellectually I get it. It's not my fault and I have no reason to feel guilty. Emotionally, I still find myself in the guilt trap on occasion. I know I should just get over that, but it is a hurdle I have yet to clear. The kinship and support I have received from my on-line buddies is going a long way to correct that. Other MS patients, as well as people who live with different chronic health conditions, have been helping me to make some progress in this department.
If the purpose of guilt is to push us into making right something which we've done wrong, I am left at a dead end. Therefore, guilt is a fairly useless emotion, in this case. It serves no purpose except to make me feel awful.
The thing is, I need to replace this guilt with a new and better emotion. Is it possible to turn guilt into hope? I think it might be, and I intend to give it a try. Hope is definitely a useful emotion. Hope is what spurs us on. Hope is the thing which allows us to carry on through the worst of times. Hope begets dreams, and dreams can be turned into reality.
MS is a taker. It takes away one thing at a time, slowly, and with purpose. I will leave the doctors to address those issues as best as they can. As for my spirit, MS cannot take that. I am firmly in control there. Guilt will no longer be allowed to reign supreme. I shall appoint hope to fill that position. Welcome, hope. Let's see what you've got.
Published On: May 12, 2008