The silver lining complex
I can’t be the only person with MS - or any other health condition for that matter – who has heard those words from others or, perhaps, even said them to themselves.
Another classic is “I’m a better person because of my disease…”
I take particular umbrage with that one because it takes the credit of getting on with life in positive fashion away from the one who earned it: YOU!
Finding the silver lining?
It almost feels like we have some need to find a silver lining in every nook and cranny of the MS cloud. It’s one thing to get up and keep living your life in the best way possible. It’s another to say that living with this stupid disease ‘gave’ you anything.
Please don’t misunderstand; I do this too.
I also find that it is quite the opposite to the act of self-compassion that I think it is. It takes a lot of work to search for this silver lining only to find that it’s lead.
It takes far less energy for me to acknowledge that something is less than I’d like it to be and then move along to the next thing, than it does for me to try and paint it silver.
Outside the MS cloud
There is no shame in admitting that something is difficult (or dare I say, ‘no longer possible’) in our life with multiple sclerosis - even if that admission is only to ourselves when we must put on the brave face and simply carry on. And carry on, we do.
Many people I know, and I suspect the same for you, would simply have sat down and let the despair of diagnosis wash over them, never to get up again. You and I have (perhaps after a time of being washed over) gotten up and made our way into this new and difficult life with MS… and we are succeeding.
There is your silver lining! It’s a life-long thing of focusing on can versus cannot. It’s not an “at least” thing. The less time I spend looking for the silver lining that others tell me about or that I delude myself into thinking is there, the more time I have to live the life I can.
So, I relinquish my quest for the silver coating and search instead for the good outside of the MS cloud. I’ve spent enough time in there already.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.