About

“In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that within me
lay an invincible summer.”
(Albert Camus)

I am Willeke-Maya, a tenacious and neurologically compromised female expat living in Ireland since 2002.

MS knocked on my door in 2005. It was awkward, puzzling, easier said than done, and the type of illness that carries this tagline, “The illness is mine, but the tragedy theirs,” when asked how your family feels about your condition. Buzzwords that don’t exactly calm down an overactive mind.

Any illness is unwelcome, that much we can agree on. MS’s unpredictability means it can strike at any time, any place and in so many different ways your body and the outside world’s reaction to it often feels as if you’re going through a war zone. When I entered the MS academy, I read the small print and knew it wouldn’t be a 365-day holiday. But, if one good thing has come from being diagnosed 14 years ago, it’s the perception that no matter what happens, life goes on.

And boy, does it go on. Since then, life became more imaginative, engaging and determined.

This blog, or IMSM in short, grew from the desire to convey optimism through writing in 2011. By sharing thoughts, hopes and fears, it turned into a mix of personal stories and info about MS.

Now 16,5 years in Ireland, I remain fiercely independent as always and hope to help change people’s perception of invisible illnesses like MS.

To this day, MS has been a mere part of my life in Ireland, a life worth living to the fullest.

More on awards and nominations

This website does not:

◼ Publish health claims that seem too good to be true
◼ Use deliberately obscure, “scientific” sounding language
◼ Promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results

Updated: May 29th, 2019

Signature

blog-awards-2018_winners-gold-mpu-e15637780089692018 Winner Best Blog Post with ‘3443 Needles’, Blog Awards Ireland, Ashville Media Group, Dublin, Ireland

◾ MyTherapyApp: Multiple Sclerosis Blogs: 10 of the Best in 2019
◾ Ireland Blog Awards: Finalist 2014, 2015, 2017
◾ MyTherapyApp: Best MS Blog for Simplicity 2018
◾ Everyday Health: Top 10 MS Blog of 2018
◾ Feedspot: Top 50 MS Blog 2017, 2018, 2019

© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2019.

60 thoughts on “About

  1. You make me wanna get them boots too! How talented you are to know how to speak 4 languages! Loved your post about Before & After coffee!!!

  2. Hello and thanks for visiting and liking my blog. I hope the heat isn’t too bad for you. I’ll be checking on your posts and hope you’ll come back again and visit me soon. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      At this stage I’ve been praying for rain and it’s on the way, at least parts of Ireland have had minor flash flooding but not where I live.

      You’ve a wonderful blog and I look forward to reading more!

  3. I greatly appreciate your attitude! I know it isn’t easy, some days are harder than others. I look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Some days are indeed better than others, but you learn as you go along I suppose. And sincerest apologies Linda for the very late reply. It must have gotten stuck in between others.

  4. Hello you have a great blog here..Thanks for submitting article via blog.I think you post the same article on your blog also.
    Cyril

  5. It’s interesting to see non-Irish people living in Ireland’s viewpoints on Irish society and culture..I am Irish living in Germany and of course I hear the stereotypical “rose-tinted” glasses view you mentioned in your latest post all of the time. Where are you from anyway? If you don’t mind me asking..

    1. I’m originally from Belgium, but I find the country too crowded, too noisy and dirty for me. Flying back to Ireland is always followed by a sigh of relief so :) And yes, a whole lot of people have that rose-tinted view of Ireland, although the Ireland of old is hard to find in Dublin these days. Mind you, I still find the Irish as friendly as 10-11 years ago :)

      And if you don’t mind me asking, where in Ireland are you from?

      1. Hey, I’ve been living in Belgium since 2004, in Antwerp since 2009. Judging from your blog’s name you must be from Flanders too? Great to see another exophonic writer—and one who can write well at that. :)

        1. There’s some truth in that, being free and completely honest is something people have to learn, they just don’t get to that stage without having crashed and burned before.

    1. Sorry for not seeing your comment sooner Saverio, it ended up in my spam folder on here. Thank you so much for reading and for your well wishes!

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