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Believe In Your Ability To Create More Options For Yourself

(Even Though That May Feel Impossible Right Now)


Tips to help with your journey to thriving while living with chronic illness

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One of the most devastating things about MS is that it takes away so many of our options.  It takes away our physical abilities (physical options), our energy, our employment options, our social options, severely narrows our dating pool and romantic options (it sometimes removes our romantic partners…in which case we shouldn’t have been with them in the first place, but still), and steals our unfettered control over what choices/decisions we make on a given day or long-term…we feel like it takes away our LIVES.

The reality is that that’s partially true.  The full truth is that MS takes away our lives AS WE KNEW THEM BEFORE.  We often think “I wish I had my life back” (Lord knows I’ve thought that) and can fall into that despairing place of believing that the MS has stolen so many of our options that our lives are “over.”  That, actually, is not true.  Our lives are not “over,” though they may necessarily end up looking markedly different due to the nature and extent of our MS impairments.

What I want you to realize is that you DO have the ability to create new options for yourself and how you will live the rest of your life.  You DO still have a say in where your life goes from here and the ability to create a NEW life for yourself now, as well as the power to design a vision and plan for how you want the REST of your life to look.

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I know how hard it can be to imagine that as you’re in the middle of watching yourself lose your ability to walk, your vision, and the life that you expected to have because I’ve been there myself.  When you’re so physically and emotionally exhausted from daily life with MS that you just want to break down and cry…when just dropping something on the floor brings you to the point of tears because the pain and difficulty of bending down to pick it up feels like too much to bear and a last straw (another reminder that life is no longer the same and there is no more “just” bending down to pick something up), it’s easy to feel powerless…I get it because I’ve experienced that. 

BUT, I’ve also experienced the relief/release and “AHA!” moments of successfully finding or creating new options when the “experts” and my own discouraged inner voices told me that it wasn’t possible.  That’s been the case with physical MS impairments, long-term physical injury, career options, and life options.  I’m here to tell you that it IS possible.  You DO have more options than you’re aware of right now.


Aside from very real physical MS limitations, we have to be aware that a large culprit in our feelings of powerlessness regarding options can be our thoughts…both the ones we have swirling around in our own heads and the ones that are being fed to us by others.  Sometimes the problem is your own limiting beliefs or self-talk; but sometimes the problem is not you, but rather the people that you’re surrounding yourself with. 

THE MAIN THING IS THAT YOU MUST STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, whether it’s in the face of your own negative inner voices or external naysayers. Don’t give up or settle. Don’t just accept the first “no, it can’t be done” or lack of an answer that you get.  Sometimes that’s just their lack of knowledge, their own personal limitations (closed and limited mindset), lack of curiosity, lack of imagination, arrogance, or simple ignorance (not all “experts” know everything, even though they may think that or present as if they do). 

Keep asking and researching until you find the answers or options that you need or that resonate as true or satisfactory with your gut/soul (you know when it just “doesn’t feel right”).  Or until you gain enough information to be able to create the option that you need for yourself.  It may require switching doctors or physical therapists, changing the people you surround yourself with or the amount of time you spend with them, and/or committing to changing your own mindset.

In all cases, it requires you to open yourself up enough to reach:

  • An AWARENESS of what you need and want in your life now,
  • ACCEPTANCE of your own part in believing or perpetuating a belief that you’re stuck with a life that you don’t want,
  • COMMITMENT to finding or creating new options for yourself, and the
  • EFFORT/ACTION that is necessary to manifest those new options for yourself.

This same point in life that feels so low right now can actually be the point of opening a door into a positive new awareness.  A door that reveals many more options than you can even imagine right now.

You CAN create a new life with options greater than passivity or just settling.

“We will either find a way, or make one.” – Hannibal

What new options can you get to work on finding or creating?

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Tips to help with your journey to thriving while living with chronic illness