ilikebeingsickanddisabled

t h e w o r l d o f i n v i s i b l e i l l n e s s

Personal Experiences

Much of what the author experiences in life, especially including a marital relationship, happens with multiple sclerosis. The truism is true: What happens in one part of the relationship happens in the other. Disability/chronic illness is felt by 3 entities: the individual, the partner, and the marriage.

DO YOU NEED YOUR THERAPIST TO BE HUMAN?

“I can’t work with someone who’s broken,” he said calmly. The young man had just read my Disclosure, a description of rights that, as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I’m legally required to give all clients.  Although it isn’t necessary, my Disclosure also relates that I have multiple sclerosis; I don’t want clients to wonder whether my stumbling is about a liquid lunch. Broken, he said.  Broken.  I never imagine […]

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7 TRUTHS ABOUT COUPLES THERAPY

Junk. That’s the name I give to those reams of paper already printed on one side, fit only for recycling.  The remains of old binders of stuff from grad school account for this week’s batch of junk paper for my printer. Like a paper I’d written almost 20 years ago:  Assumptions, Approaches and Issues in Marital Therapy:  A Personal Definition. Amazingly, what I believed then, minus the naïveté and lack […]

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IT TAKES TWO TO DO-SI-DO

Doin’ the do-si-do’s impossible to do by yourself.  I spent lots of years hanging out with girlfriends or not hanging out at all, which was more likely to be true. Most times, none of us even had someone who filled in for love. I’m not ashamed to say there are times I would’ve settled – my need for affiliation was that great – at least for awhile.  Although I did […]

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THAT GIRL KEEPS FALLING ON HER BUTT

My balance, isn’t. So when I head straight toward the bushes at the entrance to my building it isn’t surprising. Bushes are a trigger in picturing my first (and only) experience as a new MSer in an MS support group.   Recommended by my neurologist, the group experience was meant to help me cope with the way-past-due-diagnosis of my disease. Instead, it freaked me out. Walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutches – and me, invisibly […]

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HOW CAN PARALYZED BE PRETTY?

Photograph of Rachel and her husband Chris on their wedding day. Photo credit: Martha Manning Photography I blog for the government’s disability website, Disability.gov   If you haven’t visited, do so; it’s cool, comfy, and inspiring.  At a recent look-see, I plopped into a story about Rachelle Friedman, written by the person who knows her best — herself. You might remember her story.  Last year, at Rachelle’s bachelorette party, a friend’s playful gesture […]

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“If you have multiple sclerosis, you’re treated with respect.”

The following assertion was made by Maxine Cunningham, founder and director of Empowered Walking Enterprise/Ministries.  My response follows. “Dignity is not a word that we often hear in connection with how we treat persons with a chronic mental illness – YES if you have cancer, ALS, multiple sclerosis, etc. Dignity and full personhood – that we might be whole.” As a therapist with multiple sclerosis, and a Board member of the Invisible Disabilities […]

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