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Despite Multiple Sclerosis Challenges, Don’t Miss Out on Life

A woman with multiple sclerosis reflects on how photography has played a role in her life.

I love photographs and have them strewn about and framed throughout the house. From grandchildren and goldens, holidays and travels, each holds a cherished memory.

I am happiest taking photos and have cultivated somewhat of a hobby doing so. As I have gotten older, I have (gratefully) discarded the “selfie” in exchange for capturing those I love. While I am in a myriad of photos, it is often not without much duress, copious deleting, and intense analyzing that they make it beyond my eyes. While I am certainly my own worst critic, my body has definitely changed in direct correlation to the progression of my MS.

Living over half my life with such negative self-esteem, I find it incredibly ironic that today, complete with weight gain, drop foot, and cog fog, I like who I am. It sounds so simple, yet being able to own that statement took quite a long time. It also took shedding a lot of preconceived notions and mantras I was not even aware I was repeating.

So, what does this have to do with photos?

I was looking at some photos from the late 1980s and early ’90s, and what I saw surprised me. Sure, I saw myself trim and tan, enjoying every aspect of life, be it sailing, skiing, swimming, or traveling. While I absolutely miss those activities, I stared at the smiling, seemingly happy girl and felt sad for her. The smiles, the fun, and the external beauty masked a very insecure girl.

Fast-forward 25 years. As my health declined and pain levels increased, my physical and psychological self began to morph; workouts and plans gave way to infusions and unpredictability. Life seemingly came to a screeching halt and I found myself in the midst of some serious self-loathing. Who had I become?

Read full article: Despite Multiple Sclerosis Challenges, Don’t Miss Out on Life

Read Full Article: Despite Multiple Sclerosis Challenges, Don’t Miss Out on Life

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