After reading you post i have thought about what has served me in my lifetime, not just living with ms.
Being a neglected child has its advantages. Not being taught fear! Facing every issue with forming my own impressions and lessons. I must say, I have learned many things the hard way.
Learning how to think is the most valuable tool I have. Having a good psychotherapist is the best private tutor available. I have seen three psychiatrists and found them to be opinionated instead of listeners. The three therapists have listened(something people are not taught, they are taught to think not listen) well enough to direct responses that cause productive reflection. It is four not three. Being able to think beneficially is an art, like problem solving it opens vistas that were closed and unknown. Learning how to 'deal' 'cope' 'comprehend' and 'understand' the emotional reactions to ms and to harness those energies towards better use has made me view myself as a success in adapting to life with ms, so that alone takes care of the self esteem gauntlet we travel. Losing the emotional reactions to ms is liberating, it saves the brain from cooking and the nerves from fraying. It also gives me time to research things about ms that I dont know. It also creates an order in the disorder, I dont have to waste time and energy figuring out how to calm myself. It was not an overnight event, in between live there was time to order my thoughts and emotions to serve me so I was not at the effect of unknown forces traced back to my childhood that evoked feelings of low selfesteem or worthlessness..
Learning about the nerves role in running the rest of the body is also a relief, knowing the parts are not broken just quirky.