Single life?

On the beach
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One of my stranger quotes about life is “I would rather live with MS and be free than being healthy and locked up in a cage”. For people in healthy relationships, hearing my motto for life might sound somewhat gloomy or outright ridiculous.

After having been in a relationship where my feelings mattered less and less as time went on, I realised that perhaps I would be better off alone. When I finally made the break, I felt revived 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 carried me forward.

Seeing friends or family stuck in relationships that should not be, my resolve to be single is my greatest challenge. Being a romantic soul does not seem to stroke with wanting to be single, and neither does being an old romantic soul. You know the type, the one that wants to be chased and the type that wants the man to make the first step. After having been the one to chase a few times, I now want to just experience being chased again.

Questions in regards to having a relationship and my illness do show up though as I often think of friends who have children, and I wonder if choosing a career over having a family was wise, especially when diagnosed with a chronic illness. 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 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 hoax 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.

©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “Single life?

  1. If they can not handle your MS and would instead jet off, are not you happy to find out sooner rather than later? I know people who could never accept adopted children as their own. I’ve certainly lost touch with friends who don’t want to deal with my MS, my kids, my family’s illnesses, etc. Maybe we all lose out because they are not in our lives any more, but life is hard enough without dealing with those who refuse to deal.

    Now I do make an exception for those who try to research and give me suggestions. I’ve had many suggest the latest and greatest therapy their “uncle’s sister-in-law used to get rid of her MS.” I’ve little desire to subject myself to bee stings on purpose, though I’ve had plenty by just living. I’ve even had my sister-in-law (my best friend from college) ask which of the MS diets I have tried while she was pursuing her degree to be a nutritionist. I sent her back to her class and teacher with my reply to show me the tests used to prove the diet her class recommends will likely work better than a regular healthy diet and exercise. I even sent her back to her class with a few of the studies and the holes in them because many of the benefits came simply with healthy diet and exercise (no control group in any of the studies). She said that reply rather surprised her teacher and class. Nobody disputed my position which honestly is a bit sad. After all, who would turn down a cure?

    Good luck

    1. Oh absolutely better to find out sooner rather than later. You live and you learn and you try to hang on to some people longer than they deserve, but the ‘reward’ is still the same: they claim we don’t understand their reasoning why, while we claim they are being less than supportive and refuse to understand why we are the way we now are. Several friends left the back door this way, same as boyfriends but being the romantic soul that I am, I try to hang in there :)

      I wouldn’t subject myself willingly to a huge amount of bee stings, or any other ‘cures’ people claim to have (hence my stance on CCSVI, which is a totally different blog post altogether) because it’s all been there, done that. If I were to believe some of the cures suggested to me, I would be very, very dead right now :)

      Thanks for your great comment, I truly appreciate it. MS and relationships is something that still seems impossible in my darker days of neuro pains, but when the sun is out, I tend to believe just that little bit more :)

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