An obscure altered quote from the Bill Forsyth Scottish hit movie of 1981 Gregory’s Girl. That was back in 7th grade for me. I even remember when and where I saw it. (The Forum Theater in Metuchen, NJ) An obscure reference to say the least. It’s not even among IMDBs listing of quotes from that movie. Yet, it continues to hog space amongst the old phone numbers and birthdays of people I will never speak to again. And of course.. those scars. Those MS lesions that have been accumulating for 20 years.
I take about 30 minutes every morning to peruse MS blogs, and write in my own. (actually this is a new addition to my daily routine, I like to make public statements like that so I can commit myself to things!). I read over and over how people are living with this disease yet it doesn’t define them. It makes me wonder.
I’ve mentioned that since I was diagnosed at 20 years old, MS underscores my every fiber. I speak of how it molded me and shaped me to be resilient and powerful. It forced me to recognize that I can accomplish far more than I thought, neatly categorizing my life in to sections. Sections entitled “fear of uncertainty”, “pain of speculation”, “coping alone”, “coping while dating”, “coping through marriage, childbirth, Life stressors, advanced degree, business efforts”. Every stage and experience of my life has been punctuated by my MS and the unique symptoms it doles out regularly. So, I hesitate when I read other people’s experience that “ms doesn’t define” them. I’ve never been a grown woman without MS and I’m not sure who that person would be.
Or maybe I can find that person with some effort, and I don’t want to. I teeter nervously on speculation. I can look at who I am along with MS. But when I even begin to look at myself without it.. for the sake of discussion… I only come up with points I’d rather not even consider. It only serves to illustrate a loss. What I can’t do. What’s the point.
So MS does define me. It offers me constant daily challenges for which I work hard to rise to the occasion. To add strategy to my belt of coping and you know what? That empowers me for the next step. So I won’t question my definition. I’ll relish in the me that has happened with MS.
I’ll try that on for a while. In the mean time feel free to share your definitions of self.