Once upon a time…

Life wasn’t suppose to turn out this way. All those “Once upon a time” stories I was told as a kid had me thinking I would be riding off with a handsome young prince into a life of perfection. Multiple Sclerosis wasn’t even mentioned as a part of the story. It didn’t even exist in the land of pretend.

But as I grew up, I came to realize that a perfect life didn’t really exist. Life is not filled with forest animals helping around the house. It’s not covered in fairy dust, taken care of by Oompa Loompa’s or protected by flying dogs.

The reality of life is not always easy to face because it is filled with pain, heartbreak, sickness and hardships. Yes, joyous times take place which far outweigh the sad times that happen. Laughter, smiles, giggles and hugs are the things I long for each day. They are the things that truly matter. But even with all the warm fuzzies and happy moments, I still have times when I look back and the thought crosses my mind, “What did I do wrong to be living a life with Multiple Sclerosis?”

When thoughts like that take place, I remind myself that there is nothing I could have done or not done to have kept MS from happening in my life. I didn’t cause it by something I did wrong in my past or because I ate something I shouldn’t have eaten. It didn’t happen because I wasn’t good enough or because I don’t have enough faith or because I deserve it. MS simply is. It’s a part of this messed up world we live in and doesn’t need a “why” to exist.

Don’t spend your days trying to figure out why you have MS. The why’s are not what’s important. What’s important is how you are living today. Today is what matters. Today is where you are…it’s where you live. You don’t live in the land of “Once upon a time.”

Make today a glorious day. Do something you love. Create some beautiful memories that bring smiles to your face and warmth to your heart. Maybe eat a chocolate, have lunch with a friend, watch a funny movie, or take a long shower where no one can bother you.  Weed out the things in life that don’t really matter. Sometimes that means people, not just unnecessary commitments. Lighten your load and choose to live today on purpose.

Then when you lay your head down on your pillow tonight, end the day with this thought…”I lived today!”

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.

10 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Have you read any of Stephen Donaldson books you may see what the make believe can do for you. I agree that laughter is important. I have missed out on that for to many years. When my wife realized that her father (and ‘friends’) had abused her from an early time, I consented not to break any boundaries she set up. That was in 1990. I got MS in 1999 so in some was it was a practice run for iI I feel a bit like Austin Powers felt when he lost his mojo. Butas you say we are still alive and we must look for laughter when ever we can.

  2. Jolie
    Jolie says:

    Thank you for this! Everybody I meet with MS is obsessed with figuring out why they have it, what caused it, and what they might have done differently so that they wouldn’t be suffering from it. Sometimes I still get caught up in that, especially when I’m having a flare up. Thank you for reminding me to focus on what I need to do to live my day rather than survive the symptoms. I may not have the Once Upon a Time I imagined, but I have good friends and family that support me and encourage me through this journey and that’s the most important part.

  3. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Im so glad i found your Facebook and blog. You stand for everything i stand for in my life with MS. Cant wait to read more… thank you for sharing

  4. Lynda
    Lynda says:

    You are such a wondeful articulate being.
    You are so great at putting into words all the struggles we face…
    And yet, once you put them into context with your words, somehow it all feels better.

    Thank you.

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