Questions about MS? Call us on 0808 800 8000
A woman with blonde bobbed hair, smiling

Well, I have a birthday coming up

Caz Makin

I have a birthday coming up, it’s a 21st birthday, so a special birthday - it’s for my MS. I thought I should celebrate, really.

The trials and tribulations, the negative and positive, the blood, sweat and tears that have shaped who I am. That has shown me how to live a peaceful inner life, with very little need for external gratification.

Things my MS has taught me

21 years - I can’t believe that really! 21 years of lessons with the ultimate teacher, multiple sclerosis. With whom you never know what you're gonna get from day to day. But all of it’s valuable.

Even when you’re crying and think you can’t go on, you just can’t live like this anymore. Or worse, you think you don’t want to live anymore.

But you do. You always do

I return to a place of gratitude every time I feel I’m slipping in my mind. It’s the only thing that brings me back to the present. It allows me to get my boxing gloves on and fight the good fight over and over again. I see with clear vision that I want my life to be of service to the world.

Obviously, I can’t fight climate change on my own, or stop travesties happening in the world. Nor can I single-handedly stop knife crime or the abuse of women, men and children. But I think I can do some good in my own corner. At least I pray I can.

Changing my perspective on change

The physical challenges of MS, are hard to handle. The unpredictability of MS is hard to handle. You just get used to the bad leg, tiredness, pain, face ache, bladder problems and so on. And you think, “ah ha, I have this covered” then you wake up the next day and find your arm doesn’t work!

I now believe that God is keeping me on my toes when this happens (God being whatever you believe in. To me, God is a higher purpose and calling to constantly be a better person). It’s no good to think, “right I’m alright now”, because you start to think you’re good and that it’s going to be permanent.

But life is fluid and moves forward at an alarming rate, so how can we expect things not to change for us?

Well, we can’t. But we do.

The thing is, it’s no good, expecting things not to change. It creates much unhappiness and worry. It removes us from living in the present. The absolute, right now, this moment. If things are amazing for you right now then enjoy it, be there and enjoy everything around you. If things aren’t so great, then remember things change, bad times pass, and you will survive this and go on to have better times.

Life’s hard knocks, don’t have to harden you

I’ve learnt some tough lessons over the past 21 years. Not all of them MS related. The breakdown of my marriage, becoming a single mum, loved ones dying, notably the death of my dad which just ripped me inside out.
But in all of these situations, there have been opportunities to learn.

And when you learn you grow. And when you grow as a person you are more understanding and compassionate to others in need. And this is, to me, inspirational.

I have a saying: “the more you love, the more you understand, and the more you understand the more you love”. I think that’s going to be my next tattoo actually. Maybe that’ll be the birthday present I get for my MS!