Hey there, blogworld.
A weird thing happened earlier today. You might have noticed that over on the right side of the blog home page, I have a little area I like to call “Poll-Land” (different from Poland in many ways) that has a bunch of open polls. The one that’s gotten the most responses is the first one, which asks what has brought you to the blog. That has a write-in option.
Today, I checked on the write-in responses just because I’m curious and I hadn’t in a little while, and one of the answers to the question was a very simple “I am suicidal.”
Hmm. That stood out among the usual “Reddit,” “the west wing,” “friends with your parents” responses. (which I do appreciate, of course)
There is obviously the possibility that the response was some kind of trolling or joke or something, which I don’t find to be especially funny and hi, I (a real live person) read those responses, and please don’t say shit like that. But I’m going to proceed as if that’s not what happened because I like to think that even on the internet, people are mostly genuine.
So, to the person who wrote that, if you were serious and if you have returned to my blogland, this is for you.
First off, I am in no way trained to help you out with that! The US National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255 and I encourage you to call it! They’re trained to help you out and will do a far better job of it than I could.
But beyond that, I’ve been feeling lately that a lot of the chatter on MS message boards and online communities is scarily defeatist, and if you’re suicidal because of MS (which can often cause depression) or because you think MS has ended your life, you need to stop going to those places that are populated with nonsense like that. It’s always the most pissed off people who take to the internet (like my dad on Trip Advisor), and if you need advice about how to feel better about having MS, they’re not the people to talk to.
MS has not ended your life. “Milder” MS is harder than most unaffected people think it is, mainly because a lot of the consequences are invisible. Other people can’t look at you and see that you’re dizzy or nauseous or having cognitive difficulties or exhausted all the time or that your hands and feet are numb. And they’ll dismiss you as healthy and move on. This can cause a lot of frustration and anger. I get that. But another thing that those people don’t see is how much strength it takes to let yourself look healthy and be out and about and trying to live as close to normal a life as possible. They don’t know that you have to make a million little brave sacrifices.
You’re already not letting MS ruin your life if you’re doing that. And if you’re staying at home and letting MS disable you more than it needs to, try to think about how much potential you still have. There are new drugs that are going to be available extremely soon, there are support groups, there are hotlines, there’s friends and there’s family. And if you feel like some of those resources aren’t available to you, please email me or something. Because I added in a fancy Contact Me! page. And I will get back to you ASAP.
Love and worries,