When I decided to make my diagnosis public I didn’t realize how many people would reach out to me. To be honest, I was a bit shocked at the number of incoming public & private messages. No one wants to comment on my races or food prep as much LOL. Some of the messages warmed my heart, some upset me, some made me cry happy tears from the support and some made me really, really angry. I think a broad spectrum of reactions & feelings is ok due to the volume of sentiments I received. I know I’ve made my life quite public when I made the decision to share my health journey with others. My goal in being open was to gain support from my tribe & to hopefully help another newly diagnosed MS patient in the future as they navigate their journey.
After receiving something that can be perceived as bad news there are several different ways people react. I’ve been grouping them into buckets to process where to spend my time in responding. It’s been overwhelming to write back to everyone. I’m definitely the kind of person who wants to make sure I’m responding though since someone has taken the time to reach out. For me I’ve had to choose who to respond in depth to and who to just thank and file away.
First off you may have noticed that I called this perceived bad news. If you have been following my blog or social media for a while then you know I’m uber positive and optimistic at how I attack life. I think it’s apparent by how I call MS my new sidekick or a new obstacle to tackle or a new way of living and something that I just have to deal with. It is how I personally need to deal with my diagnosis. I flip things immediately to the positive because that is how I “get through” things. So keep that in mind as I categorize those who have reached out and my reactions as such.
The objective of this blog post is to make others aware of what they can potentially expect if they announce a diagnosis and also to those who hear a diagnosis and want to reach out. Just think about your audience whenever you say something towards someone “going through” something vs. what you would want to hear. Grief processes are very very different for everyone and we all deal with things differently. So please just keep in mind how you choose to react when you reach out to someone going through something in the future. Take cues form them. Overall I’m beyond grateful for the support, I’ve voiced my concern on what I don’t want to hear and have been thankful for every single message sent my way.