Sorry, I Need to Cancel

Over the many years of dealing with chronic illness, I’ve truly lost count of how many times I’ve needed to tell friends, (former) friends, and family members that I’m just not able to make an event that I had sincerely planned on attending. Doing so has absolutely nothing to do with having changed my mind about wanting to go to any given event. It just means that my symptoms are notoriously unpredictable. Once again, they’ve reared their ugly heads. That’s one of the single most difficult aspects of living with MS. On any given day, I never know what symptoms I am going to experience, how severe they are going to be, how long they will last, and what residual impact that they may have. Obviously, this makes it incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible, to plan one’s life. Some people understand this challenge, whereas others definitely do not. Not being to overtly see my symptoms makes it more challenging for others to be convinced that I am truly unable, as opposed to unwilling, to take part in any given activity. Having always prided myself on being a dependable, reliable person makes this reality even more difficult to accept. I certainly never chose to develop MS, and all of its associated challenges. I honestly dislike disappointing others when I need to cancel getting together.

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