This year’s journey with MS

It’s hard to believe another year is almost over. Tonight, a new year begins. As they say “out with the old, in with the new,” right? As I reflect over the year now gone, I realize I have experienced some truly wonderful, beautiful moments. Times that made me sing even though I can no longer carry a tune. Times that gave me great joy and created memories that I will hold on to for the rest of my life.

It has also been a year filled with pain, weariness and sorrow. Those are the times I wish I could forget but know I won’t because those moments are still a part of who I am. If nothing else, they have made me stronger. And trust me, I need all the strength I can get right about now.

Last year at this time, I was in the hospital for an entire month working to regain the use of my legs. And although the rehab was well worth it and the exercises I learned I still do to this day, my legs never returned to their full function. Does that make me sad? Angry? Fearful? Sure. But I’m not going to let my disability stop me from living even if I do it from my chair shaking my trembling fist in the air at MS.

My daily routine is different now. My needs are different. The things I consider important have changed. But me…I’m still me. No amount of ability or disability can change that.

Think back over your year. I’m sure you’ve had both beautiful and terrible moments. Times that make you still smile to this day and others that bring tears to your eyes. That’s called life…and you lived it. You experienced it. And although your experiences have changed how you do certain things, why you do them and when you do them, they haven’t changed the person you are. You are still you.

You may live life differently than you have in times past. You may need additional tools to help you get through your day. You may get tired and weaker faster than before. You may even do everything slower. But you…YOU are not your MS.

You are an amazing, beautiful, lovely, awesome, precious, one-of-a-kind, delightfully unique individual. There is no one else in the entire universe like you. You have so much to offer the world, even with a disability.  Don’t allow MS the satisfaction of stopping you from enjoying life or even from enjoying today.

As this year comes to a close, choose to be thankful for all the beautiful moments you’ve had and to use the terrible times as bricks to fill in the potholes along the way. I can’t promise you that the new year will be wonderful and void of any pain. But I can promise you that together, with each brick we place along the journey, we are building a path that just may ease the burdens of those newly diagnosed that come along behind us.

MS may only leave destruction in its path, but we are leaving a legacy of strength, resilience and beauty. You didn’t know you were doing all that, did you?  Don’t ever underestimate your value and worth. You are priceless and those bricks…well,  they just might be rubies and emeralds!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

40 replies
  1. Kim Black-McKinley says:

    I have just stumbled upon this site as I sit here , feeling alittle discouraged about the future… I’ll be diagnosed 15 years in February and can now see such s change in how this disease has taken parts of who I was… But I think finding you today, is just what I needed to help me re focus on not what I have lost, not to fear the future but to be thankful for what I have at this very moment! Looking forward to following you everyday!! Thank you for being out there!! Happy New Year!

  2. Chan
    Chan says:

    Thank you for the wonderful, inspiring,& seriously funny messages you have given us. You have helped in so many ways. I send your blog to new MSers and non-MSers. They enjoy your writings. Blessings in the new year 😇

  3. Liz Dunbar
    Liz Dunbar says:

    Wishing you a joyful, courageous and inspiring New Year Penelope. Your writings articulate all of our journeys, and you are amazing!😊 Gratitude to you for all that you are, and do. 😍💝💖

  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Well it has been another year and we’re still alive no matter what else.The MS has been a ‘challenge, but as you have reflected it is part of who we are. I am fortunate that I have been on the MIS416 program and still on compassionate level to take it. It has done a lot of good things for me and a few others. There is a clip on youtube of a video on Progressive Degeneration MS that shows what it can do. It’s not a miracle treatment but it has given us a life worth living even in the bad times.It’s worth a look for.

  5. Beth Ziegler says:

    So important to truly internalize & believe that we are not our MS. We are who we are & always have been as individuals. We are challenged by the disease MS. Thank you, Penelope, for being who you are & sharing with all of us w/ such heart & humor & caring.

  6. Val Hanna says:

    Happy New Year everyone, I’m glad I have found you all on here, thanks for the support and the positive gems you have shared. May 2016 bring you all more joy.

  7. Lois Southgate says:

    A thank you so much for all your wonderful, inspirational and kn inspirational posts. They help me realise that RRMS is not something to rule my life, rather something to accept and get on with. Happy New Year to you and yours

  8. Jeannine
    Jeannine says:

    Penelope-
    I just found your website last week and I know already that it will enhance my MS journey POSITIVELY in 2016. You are exactly what I needed to get me through the bad days of MS, which recently have been many. I will read you everyday along with my devotional “Chocolate and God.” Together we can do this! Happy 2016.

  9. Dianne
    Dianne says:

    I truly hope and pray for a calmer and less eventful 2016 for all of us MSers. I choose to expect great research to happen and pray for brilliant discoveries to be made that will lead to the end of MS. Cheers to all. Be safe and stay well!

  10. Diane
    Diane says:

    Yes, looking back over this past year there were times of great and joyous moments as well as times of great pain and frustration. But the one constant in all of this has been you! Through your strength, experience and wisdom, you have gotten me through the many down times and taught me how to enjoy the joyous moments to their full potential. So thank you, for being there for me/us and helping me/us understand and embrace the many sides of who we all are with MS. I would have been lost without you! All the best in 2016!
    Diane

  11. Leah
    Leah says:

    Thank you Penelope for your inspiring words. I look forward to reading your blogs in 2016.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  12. Carla Broadbent Rogers
    Carla Broadbent Rogers says:

    Like I have said before……In 2016 MS……stands for MIGHTY SPECIAL….because you/we are. Be well.

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