This past summer was a long, dry season in my part of the world. In fact we surpassed a record (that has stood for nearly a century) of days without rain.
During the hot, dry spell a series of TV adverts about skin cancer caught my attention. People fighting various forms of the disease read from letters they'd written to their former selves: the selves that had oiled themselves and baked in the sun during their teens.
Sun and UV exposure is cited a cause of skin cancer - and as no such causative factor has yet been identified for MS, we might not see any value in such an exercise. But I think we can learn a fair bit and, more importantly, pass along valuable information to the newly diagnosed were we to give it a go.
What would you tell yourself?
For the benefit of those who will read this today and those who will stumble upon it in the days until a cure is found: What one thing would you like to tell your newly diagnosed self?
What piece of hard-fought knowledge would you have liked to have known, without struggling for the answer? Is there a tip for living well that you’d have used for years of quality life?
In short, what do you wish you had known then?
Living healthily and happily
As for me, I wish I could have appreciated that the things I thought so essential – for which I had strived, and of which I felt so deprived after my literal and figurative fall – were far less important to a happy and healthy life than I imagined.
It took years of beating myself up over what I could no longer do before I realised the joy in focusing on what I still could do - and do well.
So, I open our monthly conversation up to what we wish we knew, as a way of helping those who are just finding out they are a member of our club.
Your knowledge can be their strength.