I wrote a blog a while ago about how weird it is that MS causes friends to become strangers, and people that you never thought you’d become friends with into the greatest of pals.
Since I was diagnosed with MS around 6 years ago I have found that I have met some of the most awesome people. Clearly there are still bad eggs out there. I mean I have met some of the weirdest bods – those that only want to chat about their tablets and symptoms. I have learned to give these folk a wide berth. Equally – I’ve met some of the true warriors – those that get on in spite of having some crazy symptoms. People who have children and need to carry on no matter how they feel, those who see the sunny side of life… advocates and fighters for the cause…. and those who fight a silent battle.
Anyway – I digress. I decided that one of the things that I had learned over the years was to make sure that I always had a good support network. I think that making friends and being around other MSers who understand is really important. I was super surprised to learn that a lot of people with MS do not know anyone in their local area. Now I am very lucky actually that I know a reasonable number (young and old, male and female).
Some of you may know that I planned a session for MSers within my local area to come together and meet others. It was funny because it started out as just a meeting of my friends for a coffee… and then it grew to around 25 people at one point.
Then it dropped to 20… and on the day I think around 11 or so turned up. I am taking that as a win – I had a few contact me because of the weather and some have been struggling with health. I know even myself, I wanted to drop out at last minute as I hadn’t been feeling too clever the days before.
I did turn up to the event though because I had organised it and I am soooooo glad I did.
I met new friends and a saw some of my old ones. And it made me realise how important that support network is. Those of you who came, and those of you who gave me the strength to do this (and brought me gifts) – I want to say thank you so much.
There’s a few special thanks I want to give…
Claire, Leonie and Gemma – your support was amazing and I love you all.
Amy at Shift.MS – thank you so much for the emails and keeping me sane beforehand. Ellie – please keep in touch about opportunities coming up at Shift, and I’m so glad you could come down and meet us all in Sheffield – we were all so happy to see you.
Ooooh and Leonie – thanks for the Hyacinths! They are growing well 🙂
Jill – thanks for coming from Stoke on Trent – it was a pleasure to meet you and thank you so much for my fleecy top. See you for the next one?!
Lee – thank you for travelling from Rotherham and coming to meet us all. I know it’s scary to meet new people.
Rosh & Si – glad we could see one another before you go back to sunny warm Ibiza.
To anyone else who has texted me since the meet up to apologise for not coming, or to ask about the next one… we will have another 😉
Also I know what it’s like when you don’t fancy going somewhere. We all have MS and I know more than anyone when you can’t be arsed going out or attending a social event. I really didn’t even want to attend my own. So please don’t apologise.
I will say though that I proved to myself that sometimes it’s totally worth overcoming that barrier and just pushing through. I did just because I had to (I wouldn’t normally) and I had a great time!!