What Multiple Sclerosis has taught me

Yesterday, I had the scary experience of my legs choosing to quit holding me up. I don’t know if they were tired or just wanted to take a break, but in the middle of a standing transfer to my wheelchair they decided to give way which meant my body met the floor rather quickly. I wasn’t planning on a visit with the floor any time soon, but there we were, face-to-face.

So many times when our bodies quit working as they should, we become discouraged. Those helpless times open the door for our thoughts to run wild with fears, and sometimes we find ourselves growing tired in the struggle.

This journey that we’re on—this journey called life—I know it’s not perfect. It has many hurdles and obstacles that keep jumping in the way. We can allow those difficulties to make us angry because our path has become hard and seemingly impassable, or we can choose to be thankful for the lessons we learn along the way.

I know it sounds crazy to be thankful while facing a monster like Multiple Sclerosis every day, but it’s possible, and you can be.

What lessons? For me…

MS has taught me to hold it together when I would much rather fall apart.
MS has taught me to keep going when it would be so much easier to just throw my hands up and quit.
MS has taught me to rise up in strength when every part of me is weak and weary.
MS has taught me to always be grateful in the good times and to find the good in the bad.
MS has taught me to allow the tears because they provide water in the desert.
MS has taught me to sing even when I have no song left to sing.
MS has taught me to laugh in the face of sorrow.
MS has taught me to join hands with others just like me so no one has to face this beast alone.

What great life lessons. Lessons I have never regretted. You see, I have discovered that I am weak. My emotions, my thoughts, and especially my body…all weak. Friends may not understand the battles that I fight or realize the fragility of my life, but even when I’m alone in the journey I will hold my head high.

MS has made me strong in ways I never thought possible. I stand strong even while lying flat on the floor.

My strength is not something that can be taken away, it is something that grows with each passing day. Instead of allowing the struggle to defeat me, it is only making me stronger. I am strong because of my journey with Multiple Sclerosis, and that, I would never trade.

Stand strong in your weakness. Hold your head high and proudly wear those battle scars…those bruises and scrapes you have collected over time. With your sword in hand, charge forward in the fight. You are not defeated. You are just getting started.

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.

44 replies
  1. Catherine Roberts says:

    I will NEVER forget the neurologists words, all those years ago “You have this little thing called Multiple Sclerosis”. From cane to wheely walker to wheelchair, I now know it is not a “little thing”…

  2. Shannon Powell says:

    My diagnosis just got “upgraded”(it’s really a downgrade) to progressive relapsing ms. My neuro says I am in the 5 percentile of ms patients. The floor and I are goring to be close, personal friends soon. Why can’t I have these kind of odds when I buy lottery tickets?!?!?!

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

    Many times I have fallen but every time I get up again. I learn every time a different lesson and try not to do the same thing again. It’s working so far and I haven’t been really hurt by the falls and other accidents.
    I know what you must be feeling when you lose control. My right leg leaves me regularly and it has stopped me able to drive or move around easily but I keep pushing so it is a on going challenge I am almost enjoying.

  4. Gina Beth Romero says:

    That’s what my wake up call was to see a neurologist. I needed to be God smacked. Anything less, I would have continued to ignore those lesser things. Still walking and working, but I can no longer take it for granted it will always be so.

  5. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Stay strong Penelope. I also hope you weren’t hurt. I truly hope you know what an inspiration you are to all of us. May I borrow your lessons learned to write them down to add to my “you can do it” board? Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, I know I will be reflecting on all that I am thankful for. Stay positive

  6. Kathy Buys says:

    It’s the uncertainty that weighs on my heart. I’m sorry you had this reset your day. After an incident like this, I always feel apprehensive for a while. Hope your day today is celebratory. ✨

  7. Monica Schamberger says:

    So sorry to hear of your struggle. I’m not at that stage, and pray never to be, however, MS is a beast in its self and we don’t have control in that. Prayers to you, and to all the warriors out there fighting the fight. God Bless.

  8. Iffat Nosheen says:

    My legs are doing this to me.left one refused to move at all n i cant bent it.in bed my daughter pulls me whn i ve to change the side. i ve PPMS but progression is too fast.

  9. KateF
    KateF says:

    Your words and wisdom give me courage when it feels like I have none. I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter, warmth, and no falls.

  10. Liz Gordon says:

    Unfortunately I feel for you. I hope you weren’t hurt.
    I have not yet had my legs give way, but stress seems to trigger violent shaking and that happened yesterday.
    Don’t give up

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