‘I’m living with MS and I am down right regular’

When I was given the topic of ‘Living a Regular Life at 22 with MS’ I initially thought it wasn’t something I was qualified to write about. Besides, my life isn’t very regular now a days – I pretty much stay at home all the time, I’m a university drop out (x3) and I medically retired this year. Despite all of this, plus a very long talk with a good friend, I took on the amazing offer once I decided there genuinely isn’t such a thing of a regular life.

My name is Regan, I’m 22 and I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) at the age of 16 – ouch. Since my diagnosis I’ve been so determined to live this ‘normal’ life and the one I had pictured living while growing up, that I neglect the fact I actually achieve quite a lot, just in a roundabout way. I stayed in school and left with decent grades, I got a job I loved and I’ve had the teenage heart breaks and wardrobe disasters the same as everyone else. My health didn’t strip me of an awful sense of humour, it just created a more resilient version of me.

Trying to live the same as everyone else for anybody, chronically ill or not just won’t work out- I’m sorry, but it’s true. I look at my beautiful friends and other than a few similarities such as university, they haven’t experienced the same things, so why did I put pressure on myself to? Chronic illness isn’t a death sentence, but I personally feel it would be naive and in some ways, a disrespect, to say it isn’t exhausting, emotional and restrictive.

My life is perhaps regular in the sense of me loving all things clothes, baking, makeup and Sims 4. It’s regular in the sense of worrying about the future, just with a twist and it’s regular in the sense of me not having control over everything that goes on, and in some ways that’s a beautiful thing. Just recently, I tried a treatment to get my MS to calm down and it didn’t work. A night spent crying and eating chocolate was all I was willing to give that situation before I looked into my next venture. Life with MS is all about adapting and sometimes it’s more painful than others.

Overall, I don’t think I can fully write about living a regular life. I have the bladder of an 80 year old, my mum or boyfriend help me shower, to cook and to clean. However, I live with the ideology that my best will always be the best and that’s enough for me. To me, that is something that should be a regular thing in life. I am sorry that some people want to see a young girl fighting fit and overcoming all these things, but the reality is it’s just not that easy, especially with MS like mine that is proving difficult to get under control. My life is beautiful – difficult – but beautiful and there’s still times I grieve over not living out the life younger me imagined but that’s okay. It’s normal.

My name’s Regan, I’m living with MS and I am plain, simple and down right regular.