Dear Self

As of last week, it’s been six months since I found out that I have progressive MS.

This is the first of many milestones that I’ll pass. Six months, a year, five years, ten. I think it’s human nature to take notice of these moments and to find some way to mark them. But for me, and I suspect for you, they aren’t occasions for flowers and balloons. It's not a gleeful anniversary. So what to do?

A friend recently gave me the idea of writing a letter to myself, to be opened at some future date -- a milestone yet to come. I like the idea. I think my letter would go something like this...


Dear Self,

Don’t be scared. Be brave.

There are some things happening to your body that you can’t control and probably aren’t happy about. Just remember that you’re the same person you’ve always been, no matter what. Maybe more wobbly on the outside, but certainly a lot stronger on the inside.

Laugh hard and often. Keep your mind and heart on what matters most. Take the time to appreciate the things that you can do, and do them well.

It’s not all about MS and it’s not all about you. Don’t let this disease prevent you from being the mother, friend, sister, daughter, and wife that you want to be.

Be thoughtful, be engaged, be alive.


What I’d really like is a chance to read a letter that my future self had written to me. In five years, what will I wish that I had known now? I suspect I might say the same essential thing: don’t be scared. Be brave.
Tags Diagnosis, Progressive MS      13 Appreciate this

Katie Jennings, Blogger

Katie Jennings keeps busy juggling a son, a husband, a job, an old house, a bossy cat and unpredictable Vermont weather. She was diagnosed with progressive relapsing MS in December 2012. She blogs about all of it at