Diagnosed & Found :: By Daniella Hayes
HOW COULD THIS BE?
I thought I had planned out my life perfectly. I had 2 degrees in the medical field, a wonderful husband, 2 perfect children a house,the perfect job, everything I had hoped for. Then in 2001, my legs went numb. Being in the medial field, I knew this was bad. I found out that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I was able to work for 4 more years but then became permanently disabled at the age of 35. I lost total use of my right side. I thought the world was over. I could never be the mother I was, or the wife I was. I would never be the same and I spiraled into a deep depression. How could this be?
I was in that depression for 3 long years. Just going through the motions the best I could, but being angry. So angry. Why me?
DIAGNOSED & FOUND
One day, I decided to go on the computer to look for something. I didn't know what. And I found a message board where people were scrapbooking. I thought "I could do that" and there began my love of making art.
I kept searching the computer and began to find art sites. I started trying all the things I found, and I also found I loved it!! It gave me purpose!! Something to do when my kids were at school, something I felt I had to do every day to keep me going. People in the art community didn't care I had MS, they just liked me and my art. I was thrilled when I got published the first time. It was a sign to me that I found the right thing. And slowly, I began to feel my old self returning. Art saved my life. No question about it. It was what I was meant to do. And if I didn't get that diagnosis, I would never have found it.
NO MORE ANGER
I am much better now, both mentally and physically. I have that drive to succeed, and the ability to do it! I still can't use my right leg, but I a driving again with hand controls!! I am as close to my old stuff as I can be It has been a very long journey with many bumps along the way but I have found a way to be thankful for what I am now, and not angry about who I was.
I've started a blog called Multiple Sclerosis Journal It. I am trying to tell people like me that they have to get those feelings out, put them on paper, release them! and being creative is the best therapy. We all go through the 5 stages of loss, and my MS art journal is sectioned off into the 5 stages. No matter how awful you feel, let it out! If you feel great, put it on paper so you can be reminded of how strong you were that day!
If my MS blog, or my MS art journal touch even one person in some way then I am very grateful. Being the artist I've become has saved my life. I hope my message spreads and others find hope.
One of my pages says "Through despair, I found joy and the answer to the question Why?... Because this is exactly where I am supposed to be." I think that sums me up. I was contacted by a publisher to tell my inspirational story for a book that will be coming out this month. It is a collaboration of inspirational stories from people like me, living with Multiple Sclerosis. You never know what will happen when you put yourself out there. The possibilities are endless!
Please visit my MS blog multiplesclerosisjournalit.blogspot.com or my art blog daniellahayes.blogspot.com. I'd love to hear from you!