Don’t quit…not now, not ever

Have you ever felt like your whole life was falling apart before your very eyes and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t do anything to stop it? That the very ones you thought would stand beside you forever turned and walked away? That in each passing day a wave of hopelessness flooded your heart and clouded your mind, inching you closer and closer to simply giving up? That just the thought of facing one more day filled your heart with tremendous pain, fear and too much uncertainty to manage?

If you have ever felt this way before, just know that you are not alone. I have been there too.

People who know me, know that I’m not a quitter…I never have been. I face everything with the confidence that I will overcome. But there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up and waving the white flag of defeat. I’m not immune to having the feelings of being overwhelmed, weak and uncertain.

I read a story once about Emperor Tamerlane who was badly defeated in battle. He ran from the battle and  hid himself away in a barn. Enemy troops searched the countryside for him. By this time he was depressed, his troops had been terribly defeated and scattered, and he didn’t know what he was going to do.

It was then that he noticed an ant trying to push a giant kernel of corn up over a stone wall. As he watched this ant attempt to do the impossible, he counted its futile efforts to see how many times the ant would try until it gave up.

One, two, three… twenty… forty… sixty-nine times the ant tried and failed to push the kernel over the wall. But in one last push, on the seventieth try, the ant made it. Leaping to his feet, Tamerlane excitedly said to the ant, “If you can do it, then so can I.” That day he changed his outlook, reorganized his forces, went back and defeated the enemy.

I wish more people understood that every day living with multiple sclerosis I am attempting the impossible, and just like that ant I fail more than once…but I don’t quit. I push, get exhausted, try again, fail, rest, but still get up and try some more. My entire life seems to be one giant push. I push through pain, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, muscle spasms, and lack of sleep. I push and keep on pushing at everything I do. Nothing comes easy, not even something as simple as a trip to the mailbox.

Sometimes each one of us needs a little ant to remind us that we can do it. That this fight is worth it. That we can make it. Today, let me be that ant.

Don’t quit. Don’t let the fact that MS is a part of your life cause you to feel defeated. You can’t stop trying. You can’t stop pushing that kernel of corn. Don’t let MS win. You got this…now PUSH!

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.

71 replies
  1. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    I have had MS for 25 years and the past 5 years I have felt that I am dealing with a new chapter of it. I am using a walking stick now and have been very weak and in pain everyday. I am battling depression, and I do not like it! Glad I came across this sight.. I need to start looking into being positive! Great reading about everyones messages, it has really helped! Thanks.

  2. Della Smalley
    Della Smalley says:

    Amen to that,today is muscle spasms n nerve day it Sucks but it my life n I’m Acually getting use to it.We are all MS Fighters n Survivors’ Ya all have a great day

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

    Every day is a challenge for most people, it’s just we have got more on our “plates” than most others and they couldn’t do what we can do. It is hard if you live by yourself and I don’t see that as an option for me. Even though my family helps me there are a lot of places they aren’t in so I have to work through these myself. It may change but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the work I have to do.
    Just thinking about the ant etc I am struggling through a chocolate eclair from Divine bakers and it is a challenge because it’s so nice and I don’t want mess it up. But I’m getting there.and I do love chocolate in any form. It was delicious and the cream worked well with the chocolate. It’s nice to get a pleasant surprise. I guess we have had a few unpleasant surprise in our lives and that makes this a little special.
    That also doesn’t take away the MS monster but shows it doesn’t take away all my pleasures.

  4. June Woodfine
    June Woodfine says:

    Now I really know why it is called positive living because that’s how we get through the days. Carry-on Penelope please we are all there for you and look forward to your blogs which help us to get through our day x

  5. Rebecca Beasley
    Rebecca Beasley says:

    God yes!!! I’m getting pretty sick of trying to act like it’s all ok to be honest!! And the support from friends. .. wow … well that can be summed up in the plural!

    • Joy H
      Joy H says:

      Totally understand! I had a day last week when I told my family that even my teeth hurt…but we just keep pushing that kernel… Stay strong!

  6. Marian Fuller
    Marian Fuller says:

    I love coming to this sight, Positive living, Penelope.
    I am feeling quite blue, today.
    People do not understand.
    I wish more would want to know more and show that they Really do care.

  7. Barbara Wilson
    Barbara Wilson says:

    Know people don’t understand but I am sure they don’t want to walk one day in our shoes. Yes we push and never stop until we are completely defeated. I am a strong women but even we get tired and have to rest sometimes. M.S is a disability but I have the ability to over look what people don’t understand sorry if they can’t educate themselves to disease but it could be them any day…

  8. Julie Knapps
    Julie Knapps says:

    Oh yes, this is my typical day. Over 15 years of rolling my ball uphill, with no help. But i still push and do what i can, dont do what i can’t. Rest when i need, still get thru the day.

  9. Peggy Kivesh Burtrum
    Peggy Kivesh Burtrum says:

    I’m so thankful to God that I am able to keep pushing…it’s so hard to do and you pay for it later….but it’s so worth it. Things mean so much more now…family and friend time is such a blessing and you realize how important it is to you.
    Thank you Penelope for pushing through to connect with all of us.

  10. Nariman Bisma
    Nariman Bisma says:

    I’m sooo exhausted, I can’t push
    Fatigued, pain and stiff muscles .. taking a shower, ironing, changing clothes, getting up to turn off that light, cleaning, organising my room, cooking, at times even combing my hair I can not explain and I am fed up with constant depression, becoming antisocial, low energy, stamina, crying and mood swings !!
    Wtf No one understands cuz we Fuckin look so normal on the outside. Each pore each cell of my body screams every moment I hate this I am tired

    • Nariman Bisma
      Nariman Bisma says:

      Martina Reck big hugs!
      You know after venting out here in this comment, I went to YouTube to see some easy workouts for MS patients. Although I know there are a lot of exercises available online, but I hardly get the strength or motivation to even open YouTube and try to do it, but I just did some now, while on my bed! For 10-15 minutes. I Am feeling bit better..
      I would recommend everyone like us to try it out.
      Much love ❤️

  11. Lynn Gavlock
    Lynn Gavlock says:

    Great post…..Sometimes I think people take our “pushing through” as we are not “that bad”…. if they only knew how hard it is to just push through and not give up…..Looks can be deceiving.

  12. Linda Westmoreland
    Linda Westmoreland says:

    I push all the time ….I think if I did not push myself I would just loose that part of me that has always pushed myself to do more and I think in life that is a good things…I just will not give up on myself and I hope that others will not give up on me when I can no longer push myself….

  13. Ginny
    Ginny says:

    We need to continue to explain what MS & it’s affects are and they are different in every person. We are not lazy, disinterested or any other label…we have a uncontrollable chronic disease and doing our best we can on any given day.

  14. Joy H
    Joy H says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’m not sure how you always know what I need to hear at the right time! It’s a little creepy! LOL I’m looking at a blank piece of paper right now that is to be my grocery list-today is dreaded grocery day & I’m feeling a little like that ant right now! Back to pushing that kernel…

  15. Ethel Himel
    Ethel Himel says:

    No one really understand,unless they are going thro it to. And we can’t change that. Yes we do have to push ourselves,it would be very easy to just stay in bed or just sit around. But I feel like that would be the easy way out,and if we don’t push ourselves we will eventually end up in the bed.

  16. Leslie Beaver
    Leslie Beaver says:

    Even I push. Not through as much as you describe but it is still more than most understand or could tolerate easily. Not looking for sympathy but a bit more understanding and basic humanity would be nice.

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