Stay Connected

Having supportive connections is vital for coping and managing the daily struggles that come with MS. Establishing those connections early can greatly impact your well-being, especially during difficult times in your MS journey. Below are ways to make those connections that will help a great deal in feeling empowered and more confident to cope with challenges:

Connecting with MS support groups

Support groups can be a powerful tool as they can help you not feel lonely while navigating through the different facets of your MS journey. They can equip you with information, knowledge, and support. You can also find friends for life who share similar interests and passions as yourself. Such social networks provide a safe space to interact and learn from other MS warriors through their personal experiences and feedback.

Connecting with family

MS can largely influence family dynamics. Parents may find it challenging to explain to their children about MS. Children may also need help to provide information about MS to their peers and teachers. Sharing information in a comprehensible manner can help to reduce anxiety. MSAA provides resources like “Mommy’s Story” and “Daddy’s Story” to begin conversations with children about MS. When you first tell people about your MS diagnosis, it is possible that they might not react in the way you expected. Remember that it is alright as they might need some time to absorb information and understand the changes that may be coming along. In situations like this, give them time to process it. The support and the backing of family members can have a huge impact on your emotional health during challenging times.

Connecting with MS organizations

Organizations like MSAA can provide valuable resources and free programs and services to enhance the quality of life for individuals living with MS. My MSAA Community is an online peer-to-peer forum to connect individuals going through MS. You can find a ton of information related to MS, symptom management, videos, and webinars on the MSAA website. The website also features The Ultimate MS Treatment Guide, an e-tool that provides information on the latest FDA-approved treatment options for MS.

While on this journey, remember to cultivate self-compassion. Practicing self-compassion and resilience means that you continue to stay positive amid all challenges. Keep fighting, keep believing, and keep thriving. Use MS as an opportunity to advocate for yourself and others.  Don’t let MS take you down or define who you are, rather, let your journey be an inspiration to others. Remember, you are stronger and braver than you think.

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