2014Chronic diseaseIncome protectionMultiple SclerosisTelling people

Coming out of the MS closet: The secret world of MS

To tell or not to tell?

My approach has been open and honest, although that has drawbacks.

Everyone in my personal life knows the high level situation, and they are welcome to ask detailed questions if they like. Some do, some don’t.

Only those I consider close friends as well as colleagues (a short list, believe me) know in my professional life. If I fall sick again, I will likely change tack in my professional life. But while I am enjoying rude health, I see no reason to tempt fate (remember, I was rejected by the powers that be for income insurance, so I’m less sure of my MS in the professional world).

But it is my personal life I want to think on.

My openness seems to be a novel approach. Individuals, some not close to me at all, have begun to confide in me. They have MS. Or their partner. Or their mother. Or their friend. And they have chosen to keep their diagnosis and disease a secret.

There is a surprising number of them. It makes me wonder how many secret sufferers, secret diseases, secret illnesses are hurting the people I know.

Their secrecy, I have to admit, did make me regret my decision of openness and honesty. Because while my choice means I am granted great support, I am exposed to  the fear of others, and even callous indifference (and that callous indifference will get its own post soon).

But then I remember, those who show support are worth that much more than those who don’t. And they, along with those who have confided in me, have my support in return.

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