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Healthy Minds Community! I hope this post finds you all very well. Thank you so much to all of you who checked out my intro post;I’m feeling very inspired, an amazing thing happened and I’m quite excited to share it with you.

I am a very organized person; actually that’s putting it lightly, I’m a meticulously organized person and a bit of a perfectionist at times (…always). During a brainstorming session for this blog, I reflected on all the topics I would eventually like to submit: self-care tips, anxiety triggers, coping strategies, etc., and in the midst of it, I found myself completely overwhelmed. Initially I figured I would set-up a calendar and fill it with topics, then I would spend the week researching/creating (ok, perfecting) my post; seemed like a good game plan, then self-doubt kicked in. My heart began to race and my mind flooded with bullying thoughts of ‘is this really important enough to share’ and ‘why would anyone want to read this’. It was truly a crippling experience, but in turn it wrote this post for me and reminded me that I still have a long way to go in my mental health journey.

Catching myself and adjusting my negative thoughts has been a great challenge, and one that I’m actively working on. Throughout the testing or ‘limbo-land’ stage of my MS diagnosis, I found that I developed resentment not only to myself but also to the ‘able-bodied’ people around me. There were times when I felt like I had to scream to be heard and that no one really understood what I was going through, but I was wrong, they just weren’t living up to my expectations. I didn’t allow those closest to me the courtesy of adapting to my life with MS in their own way. I lived in bubble with blinders on; I was self-absorbed and had very little time for anyone who didn’t fuss over my newfound illness. My attitude sucked; I wouldn’t have wanted to be around me, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but sadly it was very true.

Well, enough of that, I say! The amazing thing is that I caught myself in the act and held myself accountable for my own actions. Although I can be a bit too hard on myself, and this time was no exception, I am choosing now to acknowledge and to celebrate this as a victory, with you. Simple yes, but a small and very important step in the right direction; a direction I haven’t gone in almost a year. I’m proud of myself, of those who have stood by me and of those who continue to work with me; I know it can’t be easy and I love you for never giving up on me.

In closing, this was one of the most vulnerable posts I have ever written and I’m honoured that I get to share it. This self-reflection has brought me a lot of peace and I can only hope that my continuing efforts will help me develop as a person inside and out. I feel a renewed sense of personal faith and it will only get better from here!


Ashley Martin is a social justice and mental health advocate living with MS. Ashley has found an outlet to help others and by writing about her experiences both here and for the MS Society of Canada. Follower her journey on HMC's Supportive Minds Blog, and follow Ashley on Twitter.

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