I consistently try to acknowledge that many people may consider me a best-case scenario for living with a chronic illness. Let me also openly say that my family and friends are of utmost support. It’s the never ending dependency on them that’s wearing me down. I want to go about life on my own terms. I want to go where I want, when I want and with whom I want. No questions asked. I realize that sounds like something my younger self would say, but that’s exactly what I sometimes feel multiple sclerosis has dragged me back to. The truth is that Nicole died thirteen years ago when MS entered my life.

I’m embarrassed to truly admit that I’ve only recently acknowledged to myself that I will never be who I use to be.

The dying optimist in me always thought that if I got on the right medicine, did the right physical therapy or perhaps the right diet that I’d somehow see a resemblance of my former self.

Yeah right!

I’ve been consumed with trying to dodge these nasty, hurtful bullets of MS. I’ve been hit a couple of brutal times leaving some long lasting scars behind. Scars I’m learning to live with. My dad’s doctor said in regards to my fighting multiple sclerosis, “It’s like grasping for straws”. Intellectually I understand this, as I am well aware there’s no cure, but what’s my alternative? I’m still here and insist on maintaining the highest quality of life possible for my family and me. But at some point I have to realize that chances are I will not dramatically improve physically. That’s a scary thought, though it’s not the case for everyone. The worse some will see is a limp or maybe not even that. Moreover, this disease has been proven to hit black women harder. The only thing that can continually morph into something better is my attitude and perspective. That in itself brings me a bit of much needed solace, in fact I wish the best-case scenario for all of you too.

I will always have hope.

So I guess opting to pretend my shenanigans will actually effect change in my outcome is a bit of denial mixed with hope. Each served in the right amount I actually recommend. Yes, I crave my old independence. I sometimes cry for it. I still morn the loss of it. But after I get a grip on reality and become grateful for what I do have, I wipe my tears, take a deep breath and then…continue grasping for straws.