No matter how lasting or fleeting, it’s a question that we instinctively ask ourselves—myself included.
But why? Perhaps the reason many of us open the can of “why me?” is because there is so much we have yet to learn about a disease with no known cause, no early detection, no predictable path of symptoms, stages, or prognosis… and no cure. We feel desperate for information, any information, that can help us understand.
But while it might simply be an attempt to feel in control, “why me?” is the most dangerous question we can ask ourselves when experiencing adversity. In doing so, we will always turn up empty-handed and disappointed, because there is no answer. Asking this question opens a door to a spiral of self-pity and heartache as we dissect every moment of “bad luck” in our lives.
Allow yourself to feel pain and confusion. It’s healthy and valid. But as soon as that pesky why me creeps up, I think it is important to take pause and instead ask:
- Could things be worse?
- Will things be exactly this way forever?
- How can I use this setback to help other people or learn something about myself?
- What am I still grateful for?
- What good can come from this?
MS can be a blessing, you see. Maybe not in the traditional sense, and it’s certainly not what anyone dreams of experiencing… but it’s truly what you make of it.
I don’t believe I was given MS by a higher power as some sort of test. I don’t believe in luck, either.
But, I do believe I have multiple sclerosis because I can handle it. I believe I can help other people that are in the same boat and MS just happens to be the conduit. I don’t believe I am anyone special. Why should I be exempt from the cards that life deals us?
So, why not me?
This article was authored by Cat Stappas and originally published on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s blog, MSConnection.org, on November 15, 2019.
6 thoughts on “Why Me?”
As always, love you and your posts…doesn’t matter how busy I am, I always stop and read whatever you have to say, because it always seems to resonate. Today’s was about how I can help others…and Im always super saddened by this idea. I was diagnosed in 2009 and have a great family and friend support system but that consists of about 15 people. My primary concern with sharing is my work. I wish I could make my diagnosis public as you and so many others have done but my fear is my career…that rhyme just made laugh and cry. Lately, I have noticed a bit of a cognitive change and Im 40! 40! Okay..end of rant…and also, thank you so much Cat…you help me more than you know.
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Your kind words made my day! I’m so sad to hear you have fear regarding your career (how’s THAT rhyme?). I’ve been fortunate to have only positive experiences with employers and, if nothing else, it’s made them understand me better. But everyone has to do what is best for them.
Can I ask what you do for a living?
Thanks for reply Cat. I am an office manager/administrative assistant supporting a lot of people and have always feared that they might think (at some pt down the road) that I can’t handle it or that I cant do the work. My mention earlier of noticing a cognitive change could simply be due to stress and I let that get to me, but I can’t help wondering about the future. At my previous job, I was able to share with a few close colleagues and that was so helpful (they knew me before MS) so they were also friends. At some point, I will share with one or two at the place I’m at now, however, I constantly think about the phrase-“once it’s out there-you can’t take it back”. And I’m still not ready. I hope to someday.
Love you Cat.
I liked this article. I too have MS! Why not me?
I always enjoy your articles, they always seem to speak to me! But you are so right about the constant asking “why me” that it invites self-pity. I can’t remember when I began to have cognitive problems at work, but apparently it was noticeable. I used to love going to work and being around everybody. But, I feel like I didn’t reach my potential, if only I had more time.