For people in healthy relationships, hearing my motto for life can be somewhat gloomy or worse, outright ridiculous.
After having been in a relationship where my feelings mattered less and less as time went on, I realised I would be better off single. When I finally made the break, I felt rejuvenated and as if I could carry the world on my shoulders. Atlas, one of the great Greek Titans, I am not, but it sure felt as if Hercules himself moved me forward.
After years of seeing friends or family stuck in relationships that should not be, my resolve is to remain single. Having said that, if there is a worthy male specimen out there who is able to look past my condition, finds my quirks hilarious, wants to feed me ice cream for breakfast, stare into my blue blinkers all night and wants to go for midnight strolls on the beach, I might just reassess my stance on singledom.
So yes, I admit, I am an old romantic soul, the type that for once wants the man to make the first step. I’ve done the chasing a few times in the past and it is so “Been there, done that!”
Questions in regards to having a relationship combined with my illness are present, though, as I often think of friends who have children, and who seem to struggle physically. On the other hand, I wonder if choosing a career over having a family was wise before life with MS. But it matters not.
Living with MS, degenerative and progressive, sometimes feels as if there are two entities living inside my brain. MS… and myself. MS wants to progress and make me more and more dependent on medication, hospitals, and loved ones, but I want to stay utterly, utterly independent.
Those who know me say that I do have a mind of my own, not in an angry or selfish way, but marching to the beat of what is considered normal is not something I am always willing to do, especially when my freedom is considered. However, I am not MS and MS is not me. It may reside inside my brain but that is where the relationship ends. I accept it is there, but it will not make me long for a relationship just to be in a relationship, or to have someone present to care for me day in, day out. Utterly independent, indeed.
When I was diagnosed, ‘Why me?’ questions only lasted for about 5 seconds, not even long enough to think of an answer. ‘Will I die because of it?’ questions only came to the fore after surviving a superbug that tried hard pulling me into my six-feet-under. ‘Will I end up in a wheelchair?’ does seem to pop up every now and then, but not enough to lose any sleep over it.
As you can tell, I have my illness figured out pretty well, but what if a potential boyfriend decides that he will make up his own mind after, you can guess, “informing” himself based on awful stories about MS on the internet? Will Mr. Loverman walk away? Run, perhaps? Jet off to newer pastures because he figures that having a girlfriend with MS is just not something he will ever be able to accept?
In fact, over the past 4 years or so, two potential boyfriends essentially did decide they couldn’t handle my illness. If they cannot handle it, what do I have to do/say when I am the one living with that illness inside me? Is it selfishness on their part? Lack of understanding?
I strongly believe Mr. Right is out there, and that he will understand, hope for me and be there when MS does decide it’s time to up the ante. I have time on my side though. And the will to fight every second of every single day. More than likely I will remain standing on my own two feet with a wheelchair nowhere to be found. And that is not something to be afraid of.
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