By Matt Allen G—October 29, 2015
I have only had multiple sclerosis (MS) for about 5 years. Despite that short amount of time I have had an “action packed” experience with this disease as my MS is (from what I am told) very aggressive. I have not had a very “stable” 5 years, and so, people often ask me how I do it. How is it that I have not lost my mind and that I often still maintain a positive attitude? Well that is easy, I am very stubborn.
Yes, I know, being stubborn is usually looked at like a bad thing, a bad characteristic and before I was diagnosed with MS it was probably one of my worst qualities. It can often get you into trouble; someone would tell me I should not do something and I had to do it for whatever reason. After being diagnosed at the early age of 20, I was able to turn that trait into a tool to help fight my MS and get through tough times. I have no issues with admitting that I am fueled little by hope and fate like many others may be. Nope, I am a realist (and I know there is a very fine line between being a realist and a pessimist) and for me it is all about my stubbornness. There are many times where I just want to curl up in bed and just give up but I can’t, I am just too stubborn, if I give in like that I lose against MS and because I am so stubborn I just can’t let myself lose! I was the kid who when everyone else in my group of friends said “that can’t be done, that is just too dangerous/difficult/whatever” I took it as a challenge and said “watch me”. Of course there were times where I did achieve what I was told I could not do (fueling my ego) but there were also many times where I failed, but what is important is that I tried without doubting myself. You could say that my attitude was a bit naïve but guess what? It has always worked for me.When times get tough I have to just say “ok, what do I do next?” and just dive into things. Of course I have no idea what that will result in but in my minds eye, if I give up just for a second, MS wins and as far as I am concerned? MS will never get that luxury from me.