My MS Hope and My MS Fear

This week Niall McGahon shares his personal hopes and fears of life with MS

When asked this question at our blog team Christmas meeting, I immediately associated my hopes and fears directly to MS. Considering the question asked, it’s understandable. I’m not sure if it was just the session we were in or it was the first time I had ever stopped to think about it. Mentally, I went to a place I hadn’t been to that often since being diagnosed. There was a relief, in that moment in saying what I did with a group of people I was immediately comfortable with. Although the sentiment was utterly true, I let the MS control how I answered. This totally contradicted how I wanted to live with MS.

Hope and Fear

Ten months later, what has changed? Apart from the second round of treatment and our new baby, not a lot!! Other than the way I view the title of this blog. Strangely enough, I’ve taken out the MS, if only it was that easy! I made the conscious decision to ensure I treat my hopes and fears absolutely no different from anyone else. The thing about fear is, everyone experiences it. No matter what that fear is, we tend to keep it bottled up inside.

We hope that it may dissipate and fall away of its own accord or we just continue day to day, knowing that it is there, but hoping that it doesn’t rear its ugly head. We don’t verbalise our fears, we seem to have been conditioned not to. I believe there is an inherent problem in this. Not talking about things or pretending they don’t exist never solves a problem. Believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone of this and it is something I’m working on improving. Not only for my own wellbeing but also for those around me.

Talk about our fears

In my current job as a company we “gossip success”, which is a fantastic way to allow everyone to know the good things that are happening day to day. In the same vein, I thoroughly believe that it is important to talk about failure. In talking about these failures, you can directly impact on the next success and make it even more effective. This is the same for fears, if we talk about and face our fears it can only be a positive step to ensure that we can be ready for the next thing that comes along. This applies to all walks of life whether you’re living with a chronic illness or not. As Franklin D Roosevelt said in 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”. We can’t let fear control us.

Personal hopes

My personal hopes haven’t really changed in life. I hope I can provide as good a life as possible for my family. That we are healthy and happy. That I enjoy fun and laughter with my family and friends and I will always hope that my next round of golf is better than my last! I truly believe that out of fear comes hope. I hope that in writing about my experiences and attitude to MS, that it may allay the fears some have about the nature of the illness. We all know the illness doesn’t impact every person in the same way and it can be utterly daunting not knowing what’s around the corner. We must hope it is better and not fear it. Once we choose hope, anything is possible.