Last reply 6 years ago

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with RRMS about 2 years ago (only just found this site through the BBC article, which I am very grateful for) when I was 19, in my first year of university.

Symptoms have not affected me too much (my main problem being fatigue and leg numbness) physically, I am struggling more mentally. I have lost a lot of confidence in myself socially. It is getting to the point where I cannot even hold a conversation even with some good friends and I’m feeling slowly more isolated. It frustrates me because 2 years is far too long to be feeling sorry for myself, and I know there are people far worse off in the world.
Was wondering if anybody has felt similarly, or could suggest any methods to build back self-confidence again.

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6 years ago

I can totally relate to what you’re saying.

I got diagnosed 1.5 years ago after a couple of days of symptoms and then had a very bad relapse. I had to give up my stressful job, and became so nervous and anxious of situations where I was previously very confident.

I tried to find new skills that gave me back that feeling of self worth that I lost through giving up work. I am now a great cook/ baker with a huge collection of cookbooks. I started a blog, and learnt a bit about computers as well as taking up knitting.

Completing projects like this make me really proud of myself, especially when my hands are bad and I still manage to knit a few lines, etc.

You should find things that make you happy, and get great at them! If you enjoy reading, make a list of books you want to read, if you like music, maybe take up playing an instrument, learn a language, start painting, etc.

Some days, I give myself praise for even getting showered and dressed!

Think of your life before diagnosis, and now think of all the things that you have achieved with the added stress and pressure of MS. Even getting up out of bed when you are exhausted with fatigue is a BIG DEAL!!!!

When people tell you that you are brave and strong for coping with your illness, believe them, because it is true!

6 years ago

you are in the right place jamesh! i too had teh confidence issues> was diagnosed just over two years ago when my daughter was only four months old. First reaction was im 30 years old relatively healthy and i dont need this. I found that while i took a bit of time to get to a level of talking to people i was comfy with it also made be re evaluate alot of “friends” and not waste time on some people and invest in the true friendships that add somethign to my life. Dont get me wrong i still have down periods and cant be bothered periods but with the help of a fab husband and a great employer who has made allowances and given me a shorter week it is possible to get back to a “normal life”- actually normal is boring! ive had a wake up call with MS and made changes- give it time get to know what is best for you and not everyone else around you and their expectations. Life may take you in a totally diferent direction to what you thought0 you might find it is an exciting and better journey!

Lillylilly has fab advice too. THis site is ace and i find myself goig through periods of posting all the time and asking questions as there is a wealth of knowledge here.

6 years ago

sorry i also have problems typing so sirry for the typos!

6 years ago

Hi Jame,
i also just found this web site, and i am newly diagnosed(4 months now) i have Celiac as well and all i have been saying to myself is why me!!! my new out look is it could be worse!!! so i pat myself on the back for the small things now. getting out of bed is one of the hardest things but i smile and say i did it!

i read the posts on this site and see that i’m not alone!
take care

6 years ago

Hi James, I totally know what you mean.I was diagnosed at the peak of working life, with everyone expecting me to be high profile, confident, leading teams etc. What a nightmare when all I wanted was to crawl into a corner. What helped me most was finding a couple of people round me to confide in and who would keep their mouths shut. I had (and still have) a horror of being pitied and known as the ‘one who’s got MS’. I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of but that doesn’t stop me feeling desperately ashamed – ugly, clumsy etc etc. I invented a cover story (arthritis)and basically stuck to it for my work. I walked away from people I wasn’t bothered about and got closer to the ones (the few) I confided in. This was a good move. Gradually, as my social circle changed I became less paranoid. Now, 9 years on, I’m fine.I finished work and have found new areas of interest and new friends who accept me as I am, not as I was. But I needed the real closeness of my friends to support me in the early days. All the best.

6 years ago

Thanks for all the feedback, it’s so supportive just to hear people relating to how I’m feeling. I have only been on this site for a few days but the reassurance it has given me has already made me feel so much better about myself and the future

6 years ago

I was diagnosed 9 years ago and sometimes the confidence thing still hits. There will be periods when you can’t do things that used to come so easily to you, and that really knocks the wind out of your sails and could be hard to deal with, but you adapt and do the things that you can do – and do them well. And sometimes a door seems to close for a while but it usually doesn’t close forever. Do what you can do to keep yourself occupied and challenged when you can’t just resort to your old default settings and remind yourself that there is much more to your personality than medical limitations.

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