Elephant in the room
Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read my first blog, and especially to those who took the time to comment. I love that I'm not alone in the MS closet, it's nice and cosy!
The topic for my second blog post was a simple choice for me. I feel I need to address the 'elephant in the room', not so much because I have to, because I want to. I want to get it out of the way early on so I can focus on the many other topics swirling around in my head. Although I briefly mentioned this issue last week, I feel it's important to dedicate a single post to such an important decision.
My decision not to share my diagnosis with my family, and only with a select few friends, is something I certainly didn't take lightly. I spent many hours worrying about, and considering, this decision, with help from the friends I have told, my partner, my neurologist, and my psychologist. When it came down to it, I was the only person who needed to be comfortable with my choice, and that I am.
Some friends expressed surprise and judgement about my decision, but as I expected, these were people who would be comfortable screaming their medical history to the world! While I don't pass judgement on them for such an approach, I certainly didn't appreciate their judgement on me for such a personal choice. This is a very personal choice that should be respected by everyone.
The last thing I want from my MS is for it to cause people worry and stress, while creating a pity party for one! At this stage (and I know I keep stating this) I'm happy with the support of good friends and the comfort I feel through protecting my family. I'm sure I would be taking a different approach if I didn't have a supportive, loving partner, and a really good support network of friends and specialists.
It would be interesting to hear from others who have chosen (because they can) to follow a similar path, and what the benefits and challenges have been surrounding this. For me, the benefits of protecting my family from worry and fear far outweighs the odd day when things are bad and I'd just love some reassuring words (and a big hug!) from my family.
I realise that for many with MS they don't have the choice, and I see that removal of choice as very unfortunate. Perhaps there will be a point when I'll no longer able to 'hide' my MS. If it does come to that point then obviously I'll have to decide on the next step. Believe me, I've thought of every possibility; pretend I'm newly diagnosed, be truthful and explain my reasons for not disclosing my MS, the list goes on. But I try not to project too far into the future with the 'what ifs' because they may never be.
I might talk more about these 'what ifs' next time, but until then, thanks for reading it means the 'elephant in the room' can kindly move on now.
Have a great day!