Typically in life, there are things you want to share with your family, friends and the world. Those exciting moments include college acceptance, engagements, pregnancy and all of life’s amazing moments. But, has there ever been a moment in your life where you weren’t sure you wanted to share?
For Jamie Lynn Sigler, it was her multiple sclerosis diagnoses. In a recent People Magazine article (full story here), the actress shared with the world that she has been battling MS for 15 years. She credits the new journey in her life as part of the reason she is opening up. The Soprano’s actress is recently married and has a two year old son. She says she wanted to share for her son’s benefit.
“I didn’t want him to get to an age where he felt like he has to keep this secret for me as well.”
I got to thinking and talking with some fellow Modern Day MS writers and I asked them, did they share or not share their MS diagnosis? Here’s what they had to say:
I told my family, but didn’t want the “you poor thing” treatment on social media. I went public with my first article.
My blog started because of my diagnoses, I’m very upfront about my MS. If I have to suffer, at least I can bring awareness to the need for a cure.
I was already blogging, so I didn’t think twice about sharing. It was and still is therapeutic for me to write about it and put it out there.
I told my family and friends and then shared on social media.
I told my closest family, friends and co-workers. After that, I kept it in for 10 years. I’ve had nothing but support since, even though people tend to “forget” since I show no outward signs of MS.
For me, I shared my diagnosis with family and close friends. My husband and parents were at the hospital with me when I got the official diagnoses. During the following few days my parents shared with the family. I also make the choice to tell my principal at the school I was working at during that time, and the small group of teachers I worked directly with every day. How else could I explain the fact that I was out of work for about a month?
I didn’t post on social media for about 10 months. It was when I registered for my first MuckFest MS that I decided to reveal to the rest of the world. At the time, it was a scary moment for me. I didn’t want people to think different of me, or to feel bad for me. I was and am in control of this journey and the last thing I wanted was for people to think any different of me.
Today, I’m in my second year at the school I currently work at and have only told a few people. Why? I was just meeting all these new co-workers; I wanted them to get to know me, before they labeled me or looked at me as someone who is sick. I still have that little voice in my head that doesn’t want anyone to think different of me, even though I try to bring as much awareness and attention to multiple sclerosis as I can.
Everyone has their own process in dealing with the diagnoses. No two people will make the same choice for the same reasons. We all share in our own ways.
Did you share your MS diagnosis? Or did you not?
Vanessa is a 28 year old living in Massachusetts with her husband and 7 year old Puggle, named Rocky. She currently works in an elementary school and as a fitness instructor and health/fitness coach. She was diagnosed in April of 2014 with relapse-remitting MS and is currently taking Tecfidera. She enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.