Some mornings I wake up strengthless

Some mornings I wake up strengthless. Where it takes all the energy I built up overnight just to drag my legs over the side of the bed to start my day. Many times as soon as my feet hit the floor, I’m ready to go back to bed.

It would be amazing to be like one of those online game characters who gains lives for taking a break. You would think I could gain more strength than I do with a night of sleep, but I think that would mean I would have to actually have a night of sleep.

My nights are normally not filled with restful sleep. They tend to have moments of tossing and turning, pain, bathroom trips, muscle spasms, and an overactive brain that won’t stop talking. It’s kind of hard to sleep with all that going on. I haven’t had a restful night of sleep in years and the times I do actually sleep, it seems to not help as much as it should.

But just because my body is strengthless, just because I can’t run a marathon or walk into the next room without a lot of help, that doesn’t mean I’m powerless. Most of the time when I have exhausted myself doing the simplest of things, I just breathe. Breathing is good.

Like this morning, I sat on the edge of my bed exhausted and worn out saying to myself “in through the nose, out through the mouth.” I don’t know why, but it calms me when I remind myself to just breathe. I figure as long as I’m breathing, I’m fighting…and since I’m fighting, I’m not powerless.

I’m not my illness. I’m not my disability. I’m not useless, hopeless or a lost cause. I’m me. And the same goes for you. You are not your Multiple Sclerosis. You may be weak and exhausted even at the start of your day, but you aren’t broken and you definitely aren’t powerless. You’re just bent and cracked in a few places, but that just adds character.

If I can shower, dress myself and keep pressing on, I’m not powerless. And even when I can’t do all those things on my own, I’m still not powerless. I’m simply me and you are you, and so we fight, so we breathe!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

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.

27 replies
  1. Carol Joyce
    Carol Joyce says:

    My best friends daughter has M.S & epilepsy and so many people judge her when she gets out of a car in a disabled spot,just because they can’t see her illness doesn’t mean she isn’t suffering! Are there others that experience that? ❤️

  2. Carol Shinn
    Carol Shinn says:

    You are a shinning light . Thank you for your frank reality and honesty with your wonderful touch of humour …. it makes my day! You also seem to touch on exactly what I am living through and some how that makes life so much easier and I am sure for many others ..

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

    Thanks Penelope I have had that constantly and it doesn’t go away. I have a new computer and kit is going well now.
    I’ve just been out doing some shoe shopping and found my feet have grown a size or two. Quite strange.

  4. KT
    KT says:

    You have perfectly described every night for the last 10 years. People don’t understand how difficult every little thing becomes. I think you are amazing and am so thankful for a site that gets real about MS. I don’t feel so crazy now reading posts from you and others. Thank you, thank you, thank you:)

  5. Pmdbio
    Pmdbio says:

    Penelope, I’m impressed by the way you write & inspired by the content of your articles. Each one has been relatable for me. The battery color visual is great (it’s better than the spoon analogy mentioned often). We MSers get this. I look forward to sharing this with non-MSers. Blessings, Pam

  6. Jo Ann Maxwell
    Jo Ann Maxwell says:

    I would say fatigue is my most annoying symptom. Even more than drop foot, leg weakness, hand weakness, bladder and bowel issues, and pain!! 😞😞

  7. Della Smalley
    Della Smalley says:

    Penelope your not alone,I’ll be praying for you,I go for surgery in the next week or two forr my schoulder due to a torn Tendon n Legiments.Dont ever try to over do it because this is what happens

    • Natalie Borodchak
      Natalie Borodchak says:

      Wow. I tore my Mcl in my left knee falling down the stairs. ER Dr said it was inevitable with my left compensating for my right leg. MS wear & tear. No operation for me. Just time…

  8. Kris Fowler
    Kris Fowler says:

    I’ve tried to pre-empt such days by getting straight out of bed directly onto the floor and working my way up a high backed chair nice n steady 🙂 hmm.. sounds rude, but its not as much fun as it sounds 🙂

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