I want to write down a few of the positive things that I've gained from ms so that whenever I'm feeling down about it I can read over this and hopefully change my perspective.A slower paceIt's taken me a while to find the positives in being forced to slow down but I've done it! Prior to ms, I was a very active person, much happier doing things and being busy than not. Rest was something I did after everything else was finished. And of course, there was always something else to do, so rest wasn't a common thing. I got a lot of satisfaction from working hard in the garden and around the house. In fact, I was probably a little obsessed with keeping our home neat and tidy. Now I am unable to do all the gardening, cleaning and tidying I would like to, but I have come to regard that as a good thing.Rather than stopping to smell the roses of my own volition, ms has forced me to stop moving and shoved those roses right up my nose and I am glad. If I didn't have ms, I think that I would still be moving at breakneck speed through all the household chores, putting our son off while I scrubbed and polished. Having been forced to slow down has meant that I have the very special privilege of spending a lot of quality time with our son doing things such as reading books, writing, drawing, watching TV, playing board and computer games, and playing stationary games such as 'shops'. This is undoubtedly one of the most positive things that I have gained from ms. An appreciation of nowI really try hard not to take anything for granted any more. At the moment, I appreciate the fact that I can stand up in the morning, that I can do a few things around the house, that I can get myself ready for the day, that I can spend time with my husband and my son. No one wants this rotten disease to progress, but I accept that it is a possibility, so rather than dwelling on the things I've lost, I try to appreciate what I have now, knowing that this could change at any time. I recently listened to an interview with a man who has ms and he is now paralysed from the neck down. I think it would be easy to be very negative in that situation, but he appreciates the fact that he can use his mind to think and enjoy music and reading. I hope that like him, I will always be able to find something to appreciate in the 'now'. Greater empathyI think before I had ms, I was a fairly kind and understanding person, but there is nothing like personal experience of something to really develop empathy. I can truly empathise with the elderly, other disabled people and those battling chronic illness. In practical terms, this doesn't really mean much I suppose, but in the greater scheme of things surely all empathy and understanding must somehow contribute to a global balance of positive energy and a better world. An unexpected moveWhen I was diagnosed, my husband and I were in the final stages of building our house on my parents' property. The intention was to live close to my parents and his parents (just five minutes drive away) and at the same time have the freedom to lock up our little house and travel for months at a time. Of course, ms affected a lot of things, including our ability to live in our chosen area. It was just too steep for me to manage with our young son and ms. I couldn't even get up and down the stairs inside the house, let alone up and down the steep driveway. As a result, we moved about three hours away to a single-storey home in a very flat area. While we miss our parents very much (we are about three hours drive away now) the community is wonderful and the area is beautiful. My husband works from home most days thanks to a very supportive company and we have a very good quality of life. In all honesty, I don't think that we would have had the impetus to make this move if it wasn't for ms, so that is another positive thing I want to keep in mind whenever I'm feeling low. Kindness from othersThe capacity for kindness in others has been highlighted for me in many ways because of the ms. There are many people in my life who show me so much love and understanding and give me so much help. Family and close friends are always doing their best to help out where they can and even strangers do little things to make life a bit easier if they see me struggling. The people in the forums in thisisms and cpnhelp all deserve a mention here too!