It seems people have forgotten how to laugh

I will never apologize for finding humor in the life I live with Multiple Sclerosis. Sure, some of the things I laugh about can come across as sarcastic, be a bit bittersweet and harshly real, but if I couldn’t laugh about what is happening to my body and the world around me, I don’t think I would make it through the day.

I poke fun at my brain fog moments, my unstable legs and my often limited vocabulary. I giggle thinking about how many times I’ve forgotten what I was talking about smack dab in the middle of a sentence I’m trying to get out and how often I’ve misplaced my cup of coffee in the morning or have no recollection of drinking the coffee from the now empty cup in front of me.

I laugh when I miss my mouth trying to eat spaghetti, ending up with a splotch of sauce on my chin. I smile when my hands begin shaking uncontrollably causing me to drop my phone while playing a game of solitaire. I smile even more when instead of just dropping it, I end up throwing it across the room due to an unexpected involuntary muscle spasm. If you’re going to be my friend, you have to be prepared to duck…and quick!

And if you were to watch me trying to get up from a folding lawn chair, you would laugh too. I look like a breakdancing ninja stuck on an upside-down rollercoaster. Who wouldn’t laugh at that? LOL

I laugh because all my crazy mishaps and uh-oh moments are actually quite comical when you stop and look at them for what they are. I try my best to find some bit of humor in my pain and to brush off the hurt feelings brought on by the inconsiderate and selfish people that cross my path. Besides, I’d rather laugh than cry. Crying stuffs up my nose and makes my eyes all red and puffy.

Tears still come easily and fears still try to creep in to mess with my day, but I refuse to let them rule my life.

It seems a majority of people today have lost the ability to laugh. I’m amazed at the amount of people that get offended because I’m poking fun at myself and at MS. They think how dare I laugh at something as terrible as Multiple Sclerosis and the pain it causes.

But to me, I believe there’s a lot more to be mad at in the world than a girl in Alabama living with Multiple Sclerosis trying to make somebody smile. I think some people in the world today are wearing their panties a little too tight.

It’s okay to have fun and enjoy life without guilt. It’s okay to laugh at yourself and the things happening in your life. It’s okay to smile when you’re hurting. It’s okay to have fun even in the midst of a chronic illness. It’s okay, it really is.

We all need to lighten up and enjoy life more. Smile!

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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.

45 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks for the funny takes on life’s hiccups. This is something I am trying to get back, my humor has got an attack for a long time and I miss it. But it hasn’t left me entirely and that’s nice to know.

  2. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    My friend and her husband have a running (and tripping and falling) joke. Whenever she drops something, he’ll ask, “klutz or MS?” They laugh together, not caring what outsiders might think. After all, what other people think is none of our business.

  3. Mary E Slavik
    Mary E Slavik says:

    Laughter is the best medicine for this disease. I have a son-in-law who also has MS and when we are together, we laugh at each other. It makes us both feel better!

  4. Jude MacMillan
    Jude MacMillan says:

    You must laugh at this disease…it is the only answer we have! (And now, they are saying I may also have Parkingson’s….I tell you, I get all the brakes, huh?!). More later….

  5. Mary Jane Guidry
    Mary Jane Guidry says:

    I’ve tried to be “realistic” and “serious” I stayed b****y and miserable… Nope I’ll take laughter, dark humor and allow myself and others to laugh with and at me, for me.. Thank you for this…

  6. Kellie Morgan
    Kellie Morgan says:

    Amen to that Penelope! I’ve lived with this disease for 24 years, and would be insane if I couldn’t laugh at myself every now and then. 😀

  7. Julia LaMear
    Julia LaMear says:

    Yes, you have to smile and laugh! Sometimes you do scream and cry too! Every day is a new day and I pray to the Lord to always help to give me the strength & courage I need!

  8. Tricia Williams
    Tricia Williams says:

    To true. Life is to bleeding difficult without a sense of humour. I have to laugh as mascara is getting to expensive if i keep crying. And I don’t cry pretty. How is it some people can

  9. Debbie Jennes
    Debbie Jennes says:

    You have to laugh or you will be overwhelmed and miserable. This disease challenges us to find a silver lining or se an optimistic side to our problems, accidents and challenges. Best wishes and chuckles.

  10. Leah
    Leah says:

    Spot on Penelope! So many folks get their knickers in a twist over the silliest things…MS has taught me not to take myself so seriously. Believe it or not, this disease has given me a whole new perspective on life…which is a great thing. Thanks again and keep on smiling!😊

  11. Phil Singleterry
    Phil Singleterry says:

    Me and my partner both have ms although we don’t live together so you can imagine what it’s like,we fall over and laugh about it you have to laugh and joke about your condition if you didn’t you would go completely bonkers

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