It’s hard to stay focused

I was making a shopping list the other day and forgot how to spell the word pencils. In my mind it didn’t even have the letter c anywhere in it. I struggled for nearly five minutes thinking and thinking and then thinking some more about that silly little word. The more I thought about it, the weirder the word became.

It wasn’t as if I was dealing with something complicated like the word prospicience or eudaemonic. Now don’t be too proud of me, I didn’t know those words either until I searched Google for hard to spell words, and I still don’t know what they mean. Auto correct didn’t even like the first word.

My brain has lost most of it’s ability to think deep and stay focused on something for an extended period of time. I rely more and more on technology, friends and good ole post-it notes with each passing day to help me stay somewhat organized.

It used to make me upset that things were changing so much. It frustrated me more than anything, but I’ve learned to not rely on my feelings too much. They have a tendency to mess me up. Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments when I tear up because the reality of my life becomes a bit too overwhelming, just like the other day while making my shopping list. I sat and cried over a word. A word?! Who cries over a word?

Silly, I know…but I have found that we all need a good cry every now and then. It’s not weak to cry. It’s not a sign of giving in, giving up or letting MS take over. It’s simply a pause in life to refocus and let go of the stresses, fears and pain that have had time to build up. Besides, we all know what can happen when you don’t relieve the pressure from a building volcano or a backed up water hose…they explode.

Don’t be too hard no yourself when you break down sobbing in the shower, after getting in the car from a walk across the parking lot, or even because of brain fog moments. Give yourself time to cry, to feel. The most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen have been after a rainstorm, so just imagine the beauty that you will see after the tears. Keep shining, oh mighty one.

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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.

46 replies
  1. Corinne Smith
    Corinne Smith says:

    I can look at a word and the object it is and they don’t match up in my mind , at work I had a peach in front of me , I had no idea what it was I broke down as already having a bad day recognising things, I had to go home and cry my eyes out

  2. Kelli Jaynes
    Kelli Jaynes says:

    Thank you for your blog. It makes me remember that I’m not the only one with these symptoms. I stay away from the on line forums because they seem to be so negative and such downers, Your blog takes the bad that happens with MS and turns it into a positive. If we can’t find some positive in our situations somewhere, we’d all never be able to find that rainbow at the end of the storm.

  3. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    The other day when I went to the dr. office and had to sign in, I actually forgot my name, now that was a bad one, but I played it off that I had a busy day 🙂 MS sucks but IT WILLNOT WIN :):):) I WILL WIN 🙂

  4. Sue Jochens
    Sue Jochens says:

    I love this part best. Thank you for another way of seeing things. ❤️

    “Give yourself time to cry, to feel. The most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen have been after a rainstorm, so just imagine the beauty that you will see after the tears.”

  5. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks again Penelope I know a lot of people that have cried over understandability silly things and that is not from MS. But what I mean to say is I don’t cry very much at all and have never done. I can understand what its all about but I can’t can’t change what I feel and MS hasn’t found it to change.

  6. Shanna Kinser
    Shanna Kinser says:

    One of the hardest symptoms for me to accept. I was a philosophy minor in college. I’ve relished academic works most of my life. To struggle with reading and writing for sustained periods of time has meant one more decline in quality of life. I’ve been subjected to being treated as stupid by others who really have no clue what this CNS disease does to us.

  7. Kathy Buys
    Kathy Buys says:

    Thank you, great read. It is so comforting to be able to understand all the shares you supply. I’ve recently heard some of the most ridiculous hurtful comments on MS. SMDH….

  8. Ethel Himel
    Ethel Himel says:

    I do this all the time, I hate what MS has done to me. I hate the person I have become. Yet I know I have to be happy with what I have. My walking is getting worst, this morning is a struggle.

    • Camil N Lonnie King
      Camil N Lonnie King says:

      I understand, but you can’t hate yourself for something you have no control over. You didn’t ask for this, but I tell myself to do the best I can and to not worry about the rest. Worrying just makes things worse.

    • Ethel Himel
      Ethel Himel says:

      Camil N Lonnie King Yes I kno that but sometimes it is over whelming. And that’s where I’m at now. No none of us asked for this. But have u every sat down and think of what u used to do and how u are limited now? Thank u for responding to me,have a good day

  9. Holly Sammons
    Holly Sammons says:

    Awesome post! Thank you for sharing. Really hits home. As a matter of fact I cried–but a good funny cry. Comforting to know we aren’t crazy(alittle lol), losing our minds (a smidge) or alone.

  10. Gail M. Ferguson
    Gail M. Ferguson says:

    I had a similar issue yesterday. I was trying to read a map, something I love doing and have done for years, and could not find the southern part of a state! I needed to see it to map out a route to drive. After tons of complaints and frustration I found it right in front of me on the next page.

  11. Sue Smith
    Sue Smith says:

    Remember this. In Elizabethan times people spelled things how they wanted to there was no right or wrong. So don’t worry just spell it however you want to! Pensils? What the heck!

  12. Pam Oien-Emminger
    Pam Oien-Emminger says:

    I forget how to spell easy words also. I have to ask Google! Lol! I also have sticky notes of reminders all over my kitchen counter and in the bathroom! We do what we got to do sometimes when our brain doesn’t want to cooperate anymore.

  13. Lisa Critch
    Lisa Critch says:

    I forgot how to spell ketchup. Then forgot how to say it. I had a bout of palsy. I had to learn how to talk and walk even if I still have balance issues. Oh and my cognitive was out the window. It took three years to get close to what I used to be. Got balance problems and inability to handwrite legibly but I am okay with where I am.

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