Being brave in the face of uncertainty

The first thing I do every morning is pour myself a cup of coffee and sit in my favorite chair with my laptop to write my morning thoughts for you. If someone would have told me several years ago that my thoughts about my life with Multiple Sclerosis would be read by people all around the world, I would have probably looked at them crosseyed and lopsided.

I never imagined that my words, put together so early in the morning, would matter…let alone make sense. Yet somehow they come together and bring hope to all who read them.

Today, I feel such amazing and unbelievable thankfulness for you. On days when I’m struggling, just knowing that you are sitting there across the miles reading my rambling words, tender encouragement and quirky sarcasm, warms my heart and gives me a smile that makes each day worth waking up to.

I smile because I know that there’s someone else out there just like me. Someone who at times feels overwhelmed, sad, exhausted, and alone but, who just like me, puts their brave on and greets the day with determination and courage. No one will ever fully understand the battles we face each day and the uncertainties we deal with, many before we even pull back the covers to get out of bed.

People will never hear the arguments I have with myself as I look over the list of things needing to be done in the day knowing full well that my body is ready to collapse. They will never understand the strength it takes to hold on when I’m feeling beaten down and worn out. They will never see the tears that leak through the smile I’ve carefully put in place. They will never know of the ache in my heart as I have to cancel plans I was looking forward to being a part of. And they will never grasp the full extent of the challenges I face moving around in a world that is not fully accessible to someone in a wheelchair.

Some days are good and some, to be honest, are downright terrible. But knowing that others are facing similar challenges makes the load considerably lighter, and the world seem a bit less crazy and more manageable.

If there is one thing I could say to you today that will help bring some ease to your heart and the struggle you are facing, it’s this…

You are an incredible, amazing, beautiful individual with a future still ahead of you that is filled with endless possibilities. Your life hasn’t ended because of MS or because of the progression you are experiencing.

I know at times you think that things are over for you, but you really do have great moments ahead that need to be experienced and that you are to be a part of. Many of them are even things that you haven’t even dreamed of yet. Good things. Great things. Amazing things. And one day you will look back on today and be thankful that you kept fighting.

You are brave, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you are weak and tired. Even when all you can see in front of you is a life filled with uncertainties. You are brave even then.

14 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    Well said and do remember your words, matter how quirky bring me so much happiness! I have been so inspired by the things you’ve written!
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  2. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    I love rambling with you. Your words and written feelings are like a hug. Be well. Stay true to you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  3. kerry pic
    kerry pic says:

    I am so comforted by the way you are able to explain how MS can make us feel. Thank you. The fact you can explain exactly how I was this morning when i woke, showered and dressed. I cried/fell over/got up and put my ‘game face’ on. But I still get to work because I know I will feel better by the time I’m there. Just knowing I’m not alone means more than words can say. I try to remind myself I am so much more than the flesh and bones I carry around. It must be that I find my strength in hope, friends/family who see the same vibrant person I’ve always been, and I’m too stubborn to let me or them down. xxx

  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    You are amazing Penelope and do have good courage in all it’s meanings. You know that old saying, the more things change the more they stay the same, applies to most people but more so to us that have MS. I’m still the same as when I was 18 just with more memories and growth in the way I do things . I have found out I don’t like being put into boxes as I haven’t found one to fit me.

  5. Joy
    Joy says:

    Thank you so much! I so lol forward to your posts 😊 It’s so comforting to know that we all have friends all over the world that we will likely never meet, but that we know understand what we’re going through in a way that many people will never get. We didn’t ask to be a part of this “club”, but it sure is nice to be in it together!

  6. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Thank you for sharing . It is a constant challenge to not go down the rabbit hole and remind yourself this is just one day. Things can and often will get better tomorrow. The song and Chloe’s story is inspirational. Wow, don’t know how you find all these things! Living with MS for 28 years now.

  7. Debbie Owens
    Debbie Owens says:

    I had a dear friend that was an American living in Paris and battling ALS. ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Most people are gone 3-4 years after their diagnosis. The French have a word that doesn’t translate in English, Bon courage. It carries the meaning that person will succeed purely depends on his/her own strength and no role for any external factors. Courage word is derived from “cœur” (heart).Hence wishing somebody Bon courage means wishing that person some real strength in heart to go through any ordeal situation or difficult task to achieve. She loved this word and found a little bit of internal strength when someone would wish her Bon Courage. So today to all of the MS Warriors out there. Bon Courage!!


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