As much as the wretched condition allows, I try to acknowledge the upside of MS. Sure, dismiss it as a clichéd attempt to “count my blessings”, but consider the alternative: Endlessly recounting every pain and inconvenience of MS is not only too easy, it’s useless. Worse, I maintain it’s harmful. Dwelling on the drawbacks of the disease is a sure path to your own personal Slough of Despond, whence there is no escape. It’s like struggling in quicksand. All that effort only serves to make your descent more inevitable and more painful.
There’s a reason “count your blessings” became a cliché. It’s good advice.
Today, I’m thinking of the clothes, or, as I am often heard to say:
MS: It’s not just a disease, it’s a wardrobe.
It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that a significant percentage of my wardrobe was obtained gratis from some MS organization and has the logo, current or past, emblazoned thereon. (Not would I be exaggerating if I said that more than half my wardrobe advertises MS, Haiti, or Martha’s Vineyard.) Here’s a small sample of my swag:
There are hats,
I even have MS socks.
I have a scarf somewhere, too, plus these cycling gloves…
…and a whole slew of jerseys like this one:
You’ve probably noticed a pattern here. Many of these items were picked up as a result of participating (since the early 90’s) in MS Bike rides. In that sense, I earned them. Some were just picked up here or there. I even made one myself.
I’m not the only one and biking isn’t the only route to free apparel. Plenty of folks have garnered garments in a similar fashion (pun intended), by volunteering at MS-related events, for instance.
I don’t really need all this garb. It’s nice to know, though, should the doctors, tests, and meds bankrupt me, I’ll have a closet full of free clothes to fall back on.
Of course, it would be nice to have some pants to wear.