It is my pleasure to introduce this week’s Mental Health Blogger. Margaret of The World As I See It will be sharing her thoughts with us this week. Margaret is very special to me, and I admire her a great deal. At a very young age she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and has battled it ever since. I think Margaret is a good fit for Mental Health Blogger of the Week because she often talks about how MS affects her moods, her relationships, and her over all mental health.
1.When were you diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? I was diagnosed when when I was 15 or 16 I can’t really remember. I do know I was in high school and I think it was in 2000 but I am not positive.
2. What thoughts went through your mind when you were first diagnosed? How am I supposed to be a teenager when I have an illness that will never go away. I was super scared and mad that god is letting me suffer more than I already had at that point.
3. In what ways, if any, do you believe your life has changed since your diagnosis? My life has changed so much that it is hard to put into words. I have realized that I am not invisible and that I need to live each day to the fullest because I don’t know how may days I will be up and walking. I try not to let little stuff bother me because I have so many great things I can focus on to try and stay upbeat.
4. What are some positive things you have learned about yourself since your diagnosis? I can deal with tons of pain and I can do anything that I put my mind to.
5. In what ways do you think your MS diagnosis affects your mental health? It effects my mental health because it is hard not to let it get to me. I am 25 and am missing so much because I am sick. It gets hard some days accepting that I will always be sick.
6. At the present time, what do you believe is your biggest stumbling block? Feeling isolated and like I don’t have people that can relate to me in any way. At such a young age I am having trouble finding people my own age with the disease that I can relate with. I have great friends and people in my life but I would love to have a friend that has MS and just gets it.
7. For you personally, what do you consider a life lived well? Living it to fullest. I am happy with everything in life I have done and if I were to die tomorrow I would be fine with it. I know I have made mistakes but I have learned from them so I would say my life is well lived
8.If given the opportunity, what is something you would like to say to someone who has been recently diagnosed with the same type of illness that you have? I actually had this happen a week or so ago and I told him knowledge is power. Once you learn about the disease or condition it gets less scary and you know how to treat it and what is going on.
9.When deciding who you would like to have as part of your support system, what things do you look for? People who are opened minded and willing to listen to me and what I have to say about it. I want people that are willing to learn about what the disease and not afraid of what might happen.
9. Do you think there is a stigma associated with MS? I think there is a stigma attached to any invisible illness. People think that because they can’t see I am sick that I must just be lazy. People have the attitude that if you can’t see what is wrong you must be lying or just lazy. I am trying to teach people that that isn’t always the case!
10. What prompted you to begin blogging about your health issue? I had been blogging for awhile and a one of my good bloggy buddies said that I should blog about it because until she met me she didn’t know anything about it. I thought about it and decided that I would write more about it in the hopes that I could help people or open peoples eyes to invisible illnesses.