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People taking part in a running event

Laura - MS Therapy Centre North West

Laura (pictured second from the left, with her family) wrote a moving letter to the team at MS Therapy Centre North West in Manchester about her MS journey.

What's your wake-up call? What's your signal that something isn't quite right? When I was diagnosed with MS nine years ago, it felt like the end of the world. I'd gone from an independent woman who loved living life at 100 miles an hour, to struggling to get through the day. The future I had envisaged for myself was bleak and not one I looked forward to. 

Today, I believe that experiencing MS is the best thing that could have happened to me. It was my wake-up call. It made me stop, literally and metaphorically, to smell the roses, to take stock and reconnect with a person that unknowingly had moved out of alignment. I was not aware of this consciously at the time, and my body absolutely had my back.

I knew something wasn't right. It had been giving me signals for years... psoriasis, endometriosis, hyperthyroidism... and eventually caught my attention when I couldn't physically move.

When you have your back up against a wall and are told "you have MS, what do you expect?" even by doctors, it is easy to believe there is no hope, no way of turning it around. I wanted to scream "I expect a life" and the mask I perfected that hid the deep sadness and overwhelm was not a life!

I soon realised that, with my back against the wall, I was supported by the wall and it provided protection, a place to lean, rest and in this space I could look at options. What was it that I needed? Was it to slow down, let go, find out more, prioritise and nourish me, take action? What was it that I could choose to change or find out about that would make a difference?

Over time, I was able to take a step back and see that the wall wasn't that wide and there was a way around it. There was a gate to a new future a bit further up, it was a detour that for me opened up to a brighter future.

There have been many brick walls on my journey, and some I have got help over in the form of a ladder I found, and sometimes other people have given me a leg up. I've smashed through a few too, I found that hammers come in all shapes and sizes!

I found so many options and opportunities behind my brick walls. These days I rarely stay for long behind them, and I find them incredibly useful as a place to stop, reflect and take the time to step back to discover what I need. I now appreciate those brick walls. Often they provide the rest and reflection I need before I take a next step. They help slow me down and get me back on track or down a new track.

My initial goal was to be able to have the energy to make it through a day out with the kids. I am now doing that, and so much more, thanks to my brick walls along the way!

Maybe you are heading towards, or are at, a brick wall right now... I wonder if it's there to save your life, give you a new perspective, shunt you on to a new path, to support you to find balance. Whatever its reason, I wonder what opportunities it is giving you? What if brick walls are the ultimate protection and are just redirecting you to a path you are meant to be on!

You and the MS Therapy Centre was my ladder. 

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