Being brave in the face of uncertainty

The first thing I do every morning is pour myself a cup of coffee and sit at my computer to write my morning thoughts for you. If someone would have told me two years ago that my thoughts about life and living with Multiple Sclerosis would be read by people all around the world, I would have probably looked at them crosseyed and lopsided.

I never imagined that my words, put together so early in the morning, would matter…let alone make sense. Yet somehow they come together and bring hope to all who read them.

Today, I feel such amazing and unbelievable thankfulness for you. On days when I’m struggling, just knowing that you are sitting there across the miles reading my rambling words, tender encouragement and quirky sarcasm, warms my heart and gives me a smile that makes my day worth waking up to.

I smile because I know that there’s someone else out there just like me. Someone who at times feels overwhelmed, sad, exhausted, and alone but, who just like me, puts their brave on and greets the day with determination and courage. No one will ever fully understand the battles we face each day and the uncertainties we deal with, many before we even pull back the covers to get out of bed each morning.

People will never hear the arguments I have with myself as I look over the list of things needing to be done in the day knowing full well that my body is ready to collapse. They will never understand the strength it takes to hold on when I’m feeling beaten down and worn out. They will never see the tears that leak through the smile I’ve carefully put in place. They will never know of the ache in my heart as I have to cancel the plans I was looking forward to being a part of. And they will never grasp the full extent of the challenges I face moving around in a world that is not fully accessible to someone in a wheelchair.

Some days are good and some, to be honest, are downright terrible. But knowing that others are facing similar challenges makes the load considerably lighter, and the world seem a bit less crazy and more manageable.

If there is one thing I could say to you today that will help bring some ease to your heart and the struggle you are facing, it’s this…

You are an incredible, amazing, beautiful individual with a future still ahead of you that is filled with endless possibilities. Your life hasn’t ended because of MS or because of the progression you are experiencing.

I know at times you think that things are over for you, but you really do have great moments ahead that need to be experienced and that you are to be a part of. Many that you haven’t even dreamed of yet. Good things. Great things. Amazing things. And one day you will look back on today and be thankful that you kept fighting.

You are brave, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you are weak and tired. Even when all you can see in front of you is a life filled with uncertainties. You are brave even then.

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.

56 replies
  1. KST
    KST says:

    Thank you for all the posts – because I can relate to that. Atleast I have someone who also experience and shares the pain / problems. An average person including my near ones / relatives only sympathises w/o really looking deep within me.
    Thank you again

  2. Jean Marie Herosa Ojale says:

    thank you very much for inspirng me to read your post everyday.i’m a MS woman too.even some of my family and friends didn’t belieave me.but i know that you know how ms very difficult n our intire life but because of your post you inspire me to leave and to beleave

  3. Sandra voitka
    Sandra voitka says:

    You are an inspiration that I tuen to to help me chart my course. No judgement. Just positive reinforcement that life is not over.

  4. Julie
    Julie says:

    Wow lovely true and honest words! You are an inspiration to me and I look purposely for your posts each day.
    Thank you x

  5. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Like you Penelope I have good days and rubbish days when nothing works (like legs) and sleep is taken away. by the MS monster that took me over. But I do love the good days that give me the hopefulness of something good is around somewhere.
    I have in-between days to when I wake up feeling dead then I get better with talking to wife and that turns out kinda strange but good.
    You know it’s really strange that when I get better Janice gets worse and visa-versa.
    It is a bit unusual to relate with people around the world and it’s no different than myself. I can only thank you Penelope for setting this site up so we can get the encouragement we need.

  6. Jean Carnell Riales says:

    TY. Having a bad day anyway and then trying to deal with the doctor’s office and insurance company after only 3 hours of sleep. All I want to do is cry. Your posts mean so much to me. Sending you lots of hugs, Penelope!

    • Rodger Ashton-Smith
      Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

      It’s ‘nice’ to know there are people who are being ‘hounded’ by insurance companies.But please don’t give up on yourself. You are still the person that you have always been, not someone else. I hope your doctor can sort themselves out so they may give you the support you need.

  7. Mary
    Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Every day when I get to that point where I think I can’t do anymore, your words inspire me to try again tomorrow. Thanks, most days I needl that.

  8. Lynlee Tomos says:

    Penelope, you’re the best. Thank you. I hope you read the words you wrote for us today, to yourself. I thought of you as I read them, wishing I had could have written them just for you. You are such a blessing to so many. Thank you, again, for saying the exact things so many of us needed to hear right now. ❤️

  9. Jane
    Jane says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I thought MS was the worst thing that has happened to me until last Monday. I found out I have to have surgery (two weeks from today) because of numerous tumors in my neck. I’ve been feeling more than a little scared. Your reminder to be brave really struck me today. Thanks.

  10. Trinda Wong says:

    I often show my husband your posts. I do this for two reasons; it explains why I’m giggling out loud, and secondly it gives him the chance to see what having MS is like for me. He tries really hard but can’t possibly fully understand or relate to me so showing him something in writing helps! Thanks and PLEASE never stop!!

  11. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    Once again Penelope you’ve captured the truth. That sense of panic before I even “pull back the covers”, anticipating the struggle to manage a shower….will my legs get me through my morning ritual and land me safely on my couch with cup of coffee reward in hand? Happily, I’m here now! Another day with MS underway. Warrior on….

  12. Margaret Shiels Redmond says:

    Sending you a great big hug Penelope and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers I know it’s not easy with MS good and bad days my Daughter had it for for 24 years and every day was a struggle so keep going you are all wounderful people big hugs to all of you xxxxx

  13. Carol Schaefer
    Carol Schaefer says:

    I look forward to reading your words each and every morning! Many are shared with my support group as well! Thank you so much for being there for all of us! xoxc

  14. Karen Melanson Drakes says:

    Thanks Penelope. Glad to know that we can do the same for you that you do for us. I look forward to your posts and share them with my entire family frequently saying “listen to what Penelope posted today” and they know who I mean even though we have never met. I consider you a friend, a comrade in arms, in this battle we all fight together. Thanks for making my good and bad days all a bit brighter.

  15. Julie Haines Hoddes says:

    You are so encouraging. And although I wouldn’t wish this disease on my worst enemy, it is comforting to know that others understand exactly what I’m going through. Family and friends try to, but that’s all they can do, try. It’s such a complicated, confusing, frustrating and unpredictable disease. I can’t even after 15 years explain what it is!!! Big hugs to you Penelope and other fellow MSers ☺️ xxx

  16. Christina Beaton says:

    So glad I stumbled across your site.
    I used to have those ‘why bother’ days but now I realise why I bother – it’s for those days celebrating with friends, the long lazy lunches and when the dog just wants a cuddle. In all the struggles we face, there are still those moments of brightness and joy that make it worthwhile.

  17. LeahS
    LeahS says:

    Your words are what keep me strong, hopeful, and brave…some send tears down my cheeks and some put a smile on my face. Your words have such powerful impact, so please continue to have that morning cup of coffee while you sit in front of your computer and share your thoughts
    with me. I have a wide circle of supporters: my husband, my parents, and some of my friends but it is really you who I have to thank for keeping me going each day. Wishing you a wonderful day Penelope!

  18. Deborah Cogan says:

    Good morning….
    I’m currently on a train heading into NYC…having a vacation I never thought was ever gonna be possible for me, in my lifetime.

    Right now I feel I could conquer the world!!


  19. Shannon Matherne Robin says:

    Love your posts! Like everyone else said, reading your words and explanations in ways we never thought to use, makes me smile! You hit the nail on the head with how MS makes me feel! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone! Thank you for that! Gentle hugs from New Orleans!

  20. Daisy James says:

    Good morning,
    We’re out here sharing your struggles, and I too am warmed by the posts you share with us, and also the comments. I don’t feel so alone knowing there really are other people like me. <3

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