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How I feel about me

Hi All,

Hope the day is being goo to you all?

I don’t usually open up about myself and how I feel. So I am going to be a big girl and explain to you how I am feeling and see if anyone else does or has felt like that.

I suddenly realised a short while ago that I feel my body is ugly now. My legs especially. I used to wear shorter skirts because people told me they liked my legs (sorry not bragging just trying to explain the situation. To me they are just my legs!) Now I wear trousers all the time, because they are ugly. They are the part that is easily to see I have a problem with, bad walking and using a stick. I also realised that when I go anywhere I feel that people see the MS before they see me. They don’t see me anymore as a person. Only when I am with family and close friends I have had pre MS do I feel myself. I truly feel alive then. Then the old girl re-appears, full of laughter, joking and taking the mickey out of herself. (interesting how I have suddenly gone into the third person eh??) I miss her so much (got tears in my eyes as I write this). My partner and I have completely changed personalities. He used to be the quieter one where I always used to be the out front. I used to be on the stage (in amateur dramatics all my life, pantos etc). He would be quiet. Now it is me the quiet one whilst he is out front. He helps me when I can’t remember words etc. But I usually just sit there listening. What happened to me? I can cry now at the stupidest thing where before I was always the strong one.

I could go on and on but I won’t. If anyone has been able to recover from this feeling I would dearly like some help. I want to get back to me. I lost nearly 2 stone last year but sxince changing medication and eating more I have put a stone back on. Feeling utterly defeated and ugly.

Sending kisses to you all out there.

Anne

x

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Hi Anne, oh I am sorry to hear you feeling so down.

It is true, we are not the same people. I also hate my legs. My calves are skinny and have no muscle at all and my knees seem really fat almost as if they are swollen. I only wear maxi dresses or trousers as hate showing them as well.

And my personality has changed. Usually home alone… well not alone now as I have Dickie… but you know what I mean. I was always going somewhere or doing something before.

We have to learn to accept out new selves. Life is all about change (the one thing you can rely on!). We change when we hit puberty, then again as young adults. Again in middle-age and again when we get older. I know that’s not what you mean. Chronic illness changes us into someone else… or so it seems. But the core of you, the very true you is still there inside. You know she’s still there because she’s there when she’s with old friends and family.

But one thing you are not is ugly. Just different to how you were before. Only terrible cruel people can be truly ugly! And you are not a terrible cruel person.

Accepting MS is soooo hard! And it’s not just the illness itself, but the change we go through with the illness. Try to see your life as a constantly changing journey. It’s the same with everyone on the planet but just more so for us. You won’t always be the same as you are today. Even tomorrow you’ll be a bit different. If you can learn to accept that you will have achieved something that very few people do. Maybe it’s something that MS has given us instead of something it’s taken away.

Much love and hugs,

Pat xx

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Hello Anne.

Oh this is ringing so many bells. I try to give myself new challenges but I have to fight against the idea that everything is so futile. The whole business changes so much in terms of life style and relationships. After three years of retirement, trying not to feel useless, I have now been prescribed anti-depressants. They help. If fact setting new goals helps. We are still the same people but having a chronic illness is a serious test of everything. Strangely enough, my left leg is now noticeably thinner than my right! George Orwell said that by a time a man gets to fifty, he has the face he deserves. He was right there too. My sister in law has just had a bit of a bad time giving birth to a beautiful daughter; she’s on the mend but has been quite specific about saying how difficult it is not to be able to walk properly and have to rely on other people. (I nodded sagely.)

I’ve set a goal with weight loss. You have to be really cruel to yourself here. But the first 5 weeks have been encouraging and so I’m inclined to continue. But I won’t be showing off my lop-sided legs! Remember how much it takes to be totally honest enough to create a post like yours. There’s no shame in change.

Best wishes, Steve. x

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Hello Anne,

All I can say is i feel your sadness…I am where you are…not sure who i am anymore sometimes i feel like i have changed so much beyond recognition I am not who i was anymore…bt i’m slowly emerging out of my chrysalis …I’m not sure what the finished me will look like…hopefully I will still be able to make a difference at least in my childrens lives and i know now that my husband of 30 years truly loves me…it seems crazy but I’m fatter older frumpy, menopausal and now in a wheelchair, but he says he wouldn’t be without me.

Michelle x

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Hi Anne

Sorry you feel so down, but congratulations for having the courage to say how you truly feel, as this is one of the hardest thing s for me to do…to be able to “open up”.

I think a lot of us feel, and notice visibly, the changes what MS has done to us, and its hard to accept, but like Pat says, we all change at different areas in our lives.

Like Steve, I am also on anti depressants (something I once vowed never to take) but have to admmit they appear to be having a positive effect.

This site is a godsend, and we are all here for you. ((((Hugs))))

Pam x

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Hello Anne ,

I woke up this morning and thought about your post, Have you ever had cbt? its not like counselling …I found its made such a difference, its helped me to cope with the guilt and destructive thoughts that come with the disability…its still a working progress for me but its like iv’e had to adjust to a completely new life and even my circle of friends have changed…I still have my sad dark days…its a working progress but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel…recently iv’e even done some voluntary work …Two years ago i though i’d never be able to do anything like that …but i have to say its helped me feel as if i have a sense of purpose again.

Remember we are all here for you on this forum…, I have to say coming on here has made such a difference to me. we all need help sometimes .

Love Michelle x

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Anne I’d just like to thank you for this thread, your post and all the responses ring true for me and how I feel about my life now MS dictates it. It would be so easy to say I don’t let MS define me but it does and I can’t change that fact. What I can and do do is continue with my life as I would have done but with adjustments. I still go on big shopping trips but I use a wheelchair, I still go to the supermarket but I do smaller shops hanging on to the trolley. This year I’ve been to Turkey with friends I’m going again in four weeks and I’ve just booked a trip to Mexico for next year. I can’t take my Granddaughter to the park unaccompanied but I do take her to a local soft play centre. I still have friends over for a meal even though it takes me two days to prepare and cook, the times I can’t do it I get takeaway.

Like you I wore shorter skirts as I suited them better than longer ones. I’m losing muscle so my legs, in particular my thighs, sort of just hang there, to me they look like legs that have lost a lot of weight. In reality they don’t look to bad but to me emotionally they look awful and I’m vain enough to hate wearing swimsuits but bolshie enough to say “f*** it I’m still wearing one how else will I get a decent tan!”

We are all at different stages in our MS and I’m lucky enough to be mainly independent, Michelle’s suggestion of CBT sounds good and it is something I will keep in mind for when I have my dark days as I do every so often. Also the suggestion of anti depressants is something I have used in the past and will use again if the need arises.

This site and the people on it are all rooting for you Anne and I know in a little while from now you will be dishing out the advice and the sympathy to someone who is having a bit of a downer just as we are doing for you. You’ve made the first step by starting this thread.

Take care

Jan x

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Hi Anne

I forgot to mention that I am also having CBT and, like Michelle, its a work in progress, but together with the anti depressants, seem to help, although I still encounter dark days, not just so many as before.

I wonder if this would help you Anne? Either way we are here for you, take care.

Pam x

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