Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
NEWS

Life With MS Sometimes Means Grieving the ‘Original’ You

Posted on December 21, 2021
Article written by
Brittany Quiroz

Grief is learned at an early age. We all remember losing our favorite toy or holding a funeral service for our pet mouse. Suddenly, something we knew and loved was missing. I remember feeling as if my world was turned upside down and then shaken vigorously when these instances occurred. Even when an object that’s dear to us breaks, our hearts shatter.

I remember being 7 years old when my beloved Beanie Baby squirrel — who I named Nuts — broke. I don’t mean his beans fell out and it was a manufacturing disaster — I mean his tail became unsewn from his body. That should have been a miniscule situation, right? But to me, he was no longer perfect. He changed, and it tore me apart. I recall crying with him on my pillow, a bandage around his tail. It was a dramatic scene.

My mother scoured the shops locally to find me a replacement Nuts, which wasn’t easy, given the popularity of Beanie Babies at the time. Yet, she managed to find a new one and gifted it to me. I quickly became attached to the new Nuts, and life was good. Yet, I could never let go of the original. That squirrel and I had a history.

We have all experienced way worse scenarios than a toy becoming suddenly imperfect. We have lost loved ones; encountered breakups, divorces, and job losses; been burdened by debt; or received bad news regarding our health. However, the feeling of loss is the same.

For me, grieving my multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis was similar to when Nuts broke. I was no longer the same. My body was no longer “perfect.” My version of “healthy” was forever changed. I, of course, made changes to offset my “imperfection,” found the best neurologist, started disease-modifying therapy (DMT), and started writing to advocate for those living with MS. I did everything necessary to adjust to being the owner of my new body, similar to the new Nuts. I appreciated the “new” because it was there to help me — yet I still couldn’t let go of the old me. “The original.”

That’s the thing with grief. Time makes loss slightly easier to manage. We learn how to cope. We try embracing our new normal the best we can — ultimately, we have no other choice. Yet, there is always a part of us that misses the original.

What’s easy to forget is that “the original” is still a part of us, but now with minor alterations. It’s possible to still love and appreciate the original version of ourselves, but it’s pertinent to embrace and respect the new version. It will always be a balancing act. The two go hand in hand.

MyMSTeam columnists discuss multiple sclerosis from a specific point of view. Columnists’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyMSTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyMSTeam content isn’t intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Brittany Quiroz is a freelance writer and the creator of A Hot MS, a site built to help change the perception of what disability looks like. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

In partnership with GoodRx
As time goes on, we encounter a staggering number of changes, and we feel the growth of our new...

Ask the MS Warrior: How I Explain My ‘Bad Days’ to Others

As time goes on, we encounter a staggering number of changes, and we feel the growth of our new...
Jenna Green was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS at the age of 31. After her insurance...

Living With Multiple Sclerosis: How Jenna Green Became an Advocate

Jenna Green was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS at the age of 31. After her insurance...
Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2019 caused me to feel like I’d been catapulted...

Ask the MS Warrior: How I Continue Practicing My Favorite Hobbies

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2019 caused me to feel like I’d been catapulted...
Those of us in the multiple sclerosis (MS) community understand the power of sharing the journey...

Ask the MS Warrior: How I Deal With Random Overheating Incidents

Those of us in the multiple sclerosis (MS) community understand the power of sharing the journey...
Back in 1997, when I was first officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), I never thought...

MS Management 101: Finding Resources Following My MS Diagnosis

Back in 1997, when I was first officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), I never thought...

Recent articles

Many members of MyMSTeam have been asking each other about the Wahls Protocol — a diet and...

MyMSTeam Interviews Dr. Terry Wahls

Many members of MyMSTeam have been asking each other about the Wahls Protocol — a diet and...
There is currently no single, definitive test that allows doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis...

Blood Tests for Multiple Sclerosis: Can They Help Diagnose MS?

There is currently no single, definitive test that allows doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis...
Learn what the MS hug is, what the symptoms are, and what causes it.

The MS Hug Explained: Description, Symptoms, and Causes

Learn what the MS hug is, what the symptoms are, and what causes it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...

New COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Omicron: What To Know if You Have MS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...
A person can develop multiple sclerosis (MS) at any age, but the condition is most often...

What Is the Average Age for a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis?

A person can develop multiple sclerosis (MS) at any age, but the condition is most often...
If you're living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may wonder how moderate or heavy alcohol consumption could affect your disease and overall well-being.

MS and Alcohol: What Are the Effects?

If you're living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may wonder how moderate or heavy alcohol consumption could affect your disease and overall well-being.
MS News
MS News

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close