Beautifully broken

Have you ever felt worthless, hopeless and more like a crumpled piece of paper tossed into a trash can than anything of value? What is it about living with multiple sclerosis that makes so many people feel like an outcast?

Over the years I watched as my life transitioned into a beautiful butterfly then, bam…MS came along, damaged my wings and interrupted my life. I found myself unable to fly and when I did try, I tended to run into walls or fly crooked rather than soar among the clouds.

It came to a point where I no longer believed myself to be worthy, important or valued, but just because my legs don’t work or my body is weak doesn’t mean I’m of little value. I may drop things easily, fall over even while sitting down and require help opening an easy to open package, but those things don’t make up the person that I am. I am not my imperfections. I am not my MS.

The world has created this image of life. It’s an image of unrealistic perfection. I hate to burst people’s bubble here, but no one is perfect. Seriously! No one! We are all flawed in our own way. It may be because of a disability, a crooked toe or a birthmark covering your arm, but to me those things aren’t imperfections…they are beauty.

Many times in life I have felt like the first cake I tried to make. I spent a lot of time and effort putting together my masterpiece only my attempt at making a cake appeared to be a disaster. Each layer of the cake broke as I was removing them from the pans. I carefully pieced everything together on a plate but I think my icing was a bit too thin or maybe I piled it on too thick because the cake was leaning to one side and looked as if the slightest breeze would send the whole thing toppling to the floor. It looked like something ready for the garage heap.

I discovered in that moment that it was okay to be imperfect. I made no apologies for a misshapen leaning cake, after all cake is delicious in any form. My cake may not have won a blue ribbon, but at the end of the day, every morsel of it had been eaten and enjoyed. Perfect or not…it was pretty darn good. The empty plate can attest to that.

It seems people get tossed away and forgotten way too easily in the world today just because they don’t fit the mold society has created, but that shouldn’t be. Everything has beauty in it…even you, MS and all.

You may be imperfect, flawed, hurting and feel utterly broken at times, but you’re beautiful in your imperfection. MS may limit your abilities and at times cause you to feel alone and worthless, but this world wouldn’t be the same without you in it. You are unmistakably beautiful.

A group of people in Paraguay decided to make music from things found in a landfill…from the imperfect and the broken things that others had thrown away. It’s amazing the music they create from things others carelessly get rid of.

Watch this video to see just how beautiful broken things really are…and remind yourself that you’re amazing just as you are.

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.

41 replies
  1. Saima Akram says:

    its ok dear . in start i was also so sad. but its ok things are still good we can laugh eat. at least we are not having aids cancer or some any other illness. ok think if we got healthy work so hard and become so successful then what at the end we have to die and after some time people will forget us. or may be with power we become sinful. so think dear God love us alot he wants us to be pure peaceful love full

  2. Della Smalley says:

    Lost friends because they just don’t understand why I have no strength to do what I use to.Im so tired of trying to explain what MS does to my body n how it zaps the carpet right out from under ur feet.MS is a lonely disease so I can see were all my MS people are coming from.Ya all have a great day

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

    Thanks Penelope it’s a good video of what can come from garbage. What I like is that you can grow some beautiful flowers from a garbage pile. We might be disabled but we should endeavour to be who we are and that is not what the world sees.

  4. Glenys Jackson says:

    I felt this way for years before my diagnosis with MS, made worse because of my struggles to keep up as I had before and my husband’s frustration over my ‘not trying hard enough’ to overcome the effects of being a breast cancer survivor from many years earlier – but when I was diagnosed, everything changed for the better apart from my own frustration over my limitations. I combat that by remembering the people around us who are worse off – plenty of those – and being thankful for those who love us – plenty of them too. ❤️

  5. Heather Adsit says:

    I’m sharing my personal quote with everyone today 🙂
    This wonderful person helped me see when I was first diagnosed and felt worthless and knocked down due to MS 🙂
    I’m so thankful I found this page when I did. 🙂

    My saying is.

    “Don’t diss on my ability” 🙂

    So many call it dis-able.
    We all understand why…. but are we all really unable to do all things?

    No… we are not 🙂

    Even those of us who are unable to walk… do amazing things with other abilities 🙂

    Right here is a great example 🙂
    A wonderful post of how we can relate and how it feels.
    A caring heart that reaches out to others in my opinion is an ability 🙂

    I myself am way slower than my peers. At 36 I can’t work… my husband has to help allot with our kids.
    But I focus on my cans.

    So next time you feel those words.
    Next time others say.
    “Your disabled”

    Remember.
    “Don’t diss my ability”

    We have many abilities. Some we loose… but there are others if we look within 😉

    MSer here… been fighting sense 2003 but didn’t know it was MS till Dec of 2012.

    (Hugs) to those fighting.

    Thanks again for another good post 🙂
    It’s nice to see we are not alone 😉

    • Jenni Kenneally says:

      Xxxxx💜💜💜you’re a beautiful person Yvonne and so worthy of being happy my friend. Just know that there are so many people who care about you and worry for you. It’s a horrible condition to deal with. I know we don’t see each other often enough but we care and love you, take care xxxx

  6. Geraldine Lowrey says:

    I didn’t start “slumping” until the legs started doing their own thing about five years ago. I’ve had this MS pest 41 years! Hit me at age 20, diagnosed at 33. Most of the time it was only extreme fatigue. Had to miss family gatherings – picnics in the sun, hot weather – because I couldn’t function. Somehow I still mucked on. Now I feel like 100-lb. sandbags are attached to my legs. I can barely move around, sit a lot, can’t do my exercises because I get dizzy, too. I have Halloween decorations year round – cobwebs everywhere, not allowed to climb up to get them down plus I get dizzy looking up. I start my second infusion – 5 hrs. of Ocrevus tomorrow. Supposed to be a game changer, folks in wheelchairs now walking. Hope it’s not snake oil but at this stage I’m ready to try anything. Good luck to you all out there!

  7. Linda Lott says:

    Once I started having mobility issues seems like people thought I was making excuses not to go places with them. I tried to explain, but I get,well you look OK. So I show them doctor reports, still they think it’s only temporary. So now people go an do there thing an have stopped including me,of even stopping by to visit. I spend most of my days alone. I have one good friend who lives next door. She is also disabled, but from time to time we managed to get out and cause trouble.. Lol! I also have a service dog and two rescues, they fill my lonely days and keep me somewhat active. It sucks feeling like you have to run a race you know you’ll never win! I miss my ol self! I don’t even try and date or meet someone, because I don’t want to bring them into my world. It’s not fair to them, I’m not much fun these days.. Lol

    • Rodger Ashton-Smith
      Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

      You have to remember it’s you they are dating not the MS. There’s no good reason why you can’t find someone who cares for you not the MS. There are good people out there that are waiting for you so go to them and make friends at least. Love is not a ‘healthy’ persons emotion it’s for every one.

  8. Tiffany Lanthier
    Tiffany Lanthier says:

    👏👏👏 Bravo Penelope you’ve done it again 👏👏you always know what to say on that special day of my journey 😊 I have MS but it doesn’t have ME 😁

  9. Naomi Doty says:

    Two years ago, we had a house built. I could walk, now I can barely walk and need support. That is just the outside. The inside is a complete mess. Had 2 stents put in. They could not do the back part of my heart. I have only one kidney at 50% use. I had a stroke, and have Rheumatoid Arthritis. So compiled with all of this on the inside and MS, sometimes life is hard. But, by the grace of God, I will thank him for everyday that he gives me. You help so many with your post. You will always be a Complete Butterfly to us.

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