I have different milestones in my life that I use to define time: did that thing happen before or after I moved high school, played football at a high level, realised I’m attracted to women, went to university, got my first journalist job or moved to London. Those are the events or periods I’d put in my imaginary timeline to segment different periods of my life – Elaine would probably get a mention in there too. I realised this week that getting my myasthenia diagnosis has been added to that timeline.
Each of those milestones changed my life in its own way and therefore the MG diagnosis is an obvious addition. But it’s a strange fragmented way to think about time and I caught myself thinking about the MG diagnosis as an end rather than a beginning. An end of good health and pretending that I can live forever.
I want to challenge that idea – to keep a healthy mind when it comes to MG, I’ve found it essential to consider the positive changes. When I think about myself pre- and post-diagnosis, I see myself now as stronger mentally, more organised, more focused about who I want to spend time with and more focused on what I want from life generally now, next week, next year and in 20 years time. Each day is precious and being diagnosed with MG has made me more active in my choices; after all it’s all borrowed time.
So if I find myself again slipping into the negative way of breaking up time pre- and post- diagnosis, I’ll ask myself how many of the other milestones have brought about such clarity and desire to live fully in every borrowed minute.