Walking in my shoes

I wear shoes most days. Although I still prefer my barefoot moments, protecting my feet is way more important these days especially since I don’t have much feeling in them anymore.

Today, my everyday shoes are nice and clean, but that’s only because I don’t actually walk in them anymore. I just wear them as I wheel myself around in my wheelchair. They keep me from stubbing my toes or banging my feet into the walls which happens quite often.

But when I was walking, my everyday shoes were a bit worn and scuffed. I had been many places with them on my feet. If they could talk they would tell of spending time out with friends and going to the theatre. I felt unstoppable and on top of the world.

They would also tell of the day I went to the doctors office for tests because I was having a hard time walking, seeing and feeling parts of my face. That day was a day of tears too, but not the good kind of tears. It was a day I wish I didn’t have to go through, but my shoes were with me and walked me down those sterile hallways at the hospital. They saw my pain and felt my discomfort as a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis was made. If only they could talk.

No one has ever walked in my shoes. I doubt they could fit in them even if they tried. I think my shoes are a little like Cinderella’s…you know, how out of everybody in the kingdom, no one had a foot her size or could fit into her lost shoe. It’s amazing how not even one person could wear her shoe. It was unique to her.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. People like to throw out opinions of how I should live my life, but in actuality, they don’t know my journey. They haven’t lived my story.

Don’t let someone judge your pain or your response to the difficulties in life while standing in their own shoes, not once putting them aside to walk in yours first. They can’t know your pain, sorrow, happiness, joy, ups, downs, depression, heartache…they can’t know your life if they aren’t walking in your shoes.

We each have our own journey and our own shoes to wear. When you put your shoes on today, remember how far you’ve come and the miles you’ve been. Each scuff mark is a story of trying. Each smudge is a part of not giving up. Your journey isn’t over…it’s only just begun.

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.

32 replies
  1. Lee Ann Carrillo says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. <3 your words gave me such comfort. It's so hard to find someone who can relate to what we go through and how we feel. Thank you. <3 tears are rolling.

  2. Jana
    Jana says:

    I love reading you stories as it makes me feel I am part of a club! Not one that I would have looked hard for but I am part of one now with fellow sufferers who give me strength. Thanks Penelope and everyone who is part of the ms club with me!

  3. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Hi Penelope a great message. I was out today with Janice and saw lots of people who would have no idea what it is like to have what we have. Most wouldn’t really care. It was fun at the shopping store for groceries seeing a variety of wheelchairs and motorised chairs who were doing the same as us. It gave me confident feeling to know I can do that.
    I think you have written about your journey in this state and I am grateful for your sharing.It is goodto know there are people living in different sourandings have some of the same tings Ihave and dealing with them.
    I must say I cant identify with Cinderella that you mentioned however I know what you meant.

  4. Mary
    Mary says:

    Keds are about the best I can do now. When I was still working, I got to wear high heels with my business suit. Oh how I miss those days……

  5. Joan Bates Cronk says:

    What you’re doing is helping so many to understand and try to relate. You are such an inspiration!!!!! Hope you’re having a better day. Thank you for your humorous posts too.

  6. Cindy Hodges says:

    Enjoyed your video. First time I watched and I love it. I had a pair of Keds I wore a lot and when I got foot drop well that basically wore them out. I also trip a lot more wearing shoes.

    I hate shoes, can’t stand anything on my feet except socks since 2008 relapse. I had numbness on the bottoms of my feet and now I have MS related neuropathy. I cant were anything with a slight geek for very long, church is about it. My feet feel like they’re on fire Ugh‼️

  7. Gemma Harris says:

    I’ve got a new symptom and it’s annoying and can’t really tell anyone. It’s like I’m choking on air and can’t catch my breath. And so I pretend I am choking to make it easier

  8. Kate Aquilino
    Kate Aquilino says:

    “Nobody knows the trouble I seen. Nobody knows but me….”
    It’s the human condition. Too much judgment. Too little empathy.
    I want to give encouragement to those just starting this ms journey. I’ve been on the path for 45 years. Educate yourselves. Be your own advocate. Most important of all: Stay afloat.

  9. Shannon Powell says:

    Oh yeah, girl, just ask a few of my patients about me running them into walls . They are very forgiving. Lol

    I’m at the beginning of my journey. I now have optic neuritis, some facial numbness and walking issues. Thank you for your support. I’m scared too death.

    I love the mug!! Do you sale them?

  10. Leah
    Leah says:

    Good morning Penelope. My shoes…unless they’re laced ones, won’t even stay on my feet due to the fact that my toes no longer can grip them to stay on! Besides this, I have “drop foot” in my left foot which requires me to wear an AFO. No one…that I know of, wants to wear my shoes…particularly with a foot orthotic in them…Yuck! Looking at this on the brighter side, I’ve saved a ‘sh..’ load of money on expensive shoes!

  11. Mohammad Tabiee says:

    No body can understand your pain or response to the difficulties in life while standing in their own shoes, not once putting them aside to walk in yours first. They can’t know your pain, sorrow, happiness, joys, ups, downs, depression, heartache…they can’t know your life if they aren’t willing to walk in your shoes.

  12. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    I’ve just bought a pair of sandals for the summer, and there was a little voice in my ear asking, “Really? What do you need sandals for? You don’t even walk.” I have my red kicks for when I want a hint of color. But right you are, I’ll never wear them out.

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