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If MS is a cloud, this is my silver lining!

I read something yesterday in Shift, from someone who was fairly recently diagnosed. They were, I think, relieved to have a diagnosis, which had come relatively quickly. Their feelings chimed with my own a few years back, when the neurologist told me my symptoms, visual and balance mostly, were not due to a stroke or a brain tumour. It was Multiple Sclerosis. Relief gave way to questions. What was MS? How would it affect me? What were the treatments? In time many of my questions were answered but I had to come to terms with lots of changes. The hardest ones for me to deal with were limits on my physical activity. I could no longer play football with my kids, DIY was pretty much a no-no, and work as a teacher became impossible. I had to retire from the classroom and though I tried a support role, my balance issues made me unsafe. So, I stopped working, after thirty-odd years and quickly became very, very bored! To fill my empty hours I painted and drew. Art had always been there in the background. Now it became central. A close friend had started an Masters Degree in Fine Art and she was certain my work would impress her tutors. An interview was arranged and that Autumn I started a two year Masters course. Painting was fine but difficult and one of my tutors suggested sculpture. I loved it and found an expression for my creativity and my science (I had been a physics teacher). I graduated in 2017 and have not looked back. Multiple exhibitions, some in spectacular spaces, recognition by several notable arts bodies and an offer to take my work to New Zealand have ensued. All this has required a lot of work but none of it would have happened without my MS diagnosis! I can't say I'm happy to have MS. In lots of ways it has limited my life. The silver lining to my MS cloud has been Art. The freedom, from work and the responsibilities of my old life, has allowed me time to fully express myself creatively. That has brought me so much happiness and I feel truly fulfilled. Life's not perfect but I take time to appreciate what I have. I'm here and I'm doing OK.

That's fantastic @bobtheartist63 , I love painting too. Where can we see your work?


Hi Kate I have a very large piece installed in Wells Cathedral Chapter House at the moment. It's there until Sunday 26th September. Afraid I don't paint anymore, problems with fine motor control. This is a big kinetic sculpture. Bob