It’s not your fault

I don’t know why people like to point fingers when something goes wrong. It seems like a common occurrence these days. If I was to drop my ice cream cone on the ground, even if I was super careful while holding it, I could blame the cone creator for making it too tall, or the weather for being too hot, or the wind for blowing just right, or a barking dog for distracted me.

So many factor could be the cause, but does it really matter why it fell? Is that going to make the ice cream jump up from the ground and land back onto the cone for me to enjoy? Or, should I simply be thankful that it didn’t land on my best leather shoes permanently staining them with chocolate fudge and caramel?

Can we accept what has happened with an attitude of “it is what it is” and move on? No blaming, no finger pointing, no scientific calculations of wind velocity vs. walking speed, just it fell and oh well.

I know when it comes to multiple sclerosis people like to point fingers at something or someone as to the cause. I have heard many crazy as well as plausible theories myself. Maybe you’ve heard some of them too. Things like…

“You have metal fillings in your mouth. I know that’s what causes MS because I read this blog on the internet about it.” Well, I don’t have any, so I guess that one’s debunked for me.

“You must eat a lot of artificial sugars like aspartame. That’s why you have MS.” Well, I don’t. So, hmmm.

“You don’t get out and exercise like I do, after all I’m out running, biking and hiking every weekend.” That’s another no-go since I exercise daily. Just because I can’t do the conventional exercises doesn’t mean I’m not working out.

“You don’t have multiple sclerosis at all. It’s actually Lyme disease or it’s just all in your head.” Another conspiracy gone awry.

Many others have shared stories with me of what people have told them as to why and how they got MS. It’s frustrating for a person with MS to have people flinging around unfounded statements just because of hearsay or something they read on the internet when the fact is no one really knows what causes MS.

Theories and opinions run rampant online, but that’s all they are at this point. And a majority of them have a tendency to do more harm than good in a person’s life. Someone going through the struggle of  living a life with a chronic illness feels bad enough already…piling on some sort of guilt trip and blame, now that’s a double whammy.

Once someone is diagnosed, do the how’s and why’s really matter anyway? Shouldn’t the focus be on today rather than yesterday? Yesterday can’t be changed…but there’s a whole lot that can be done with today.

I know many of you blame yourself, but you have to know that you didn’t cause MS. It’s not your fault. It’s not like you woke up one morning and decided you wanted to get a chronic illness. You didn’t do anything wrong, so don’t listen to those thoughts. They are lies and lies aren’t worth any of your attention. For whatever reason, it chose you, and regardless of what you think I know you are strong enough to handle it.

You may not feel like it right now, but you will make it. You are brave and even brave soldiers stand in the middle of a battle with knocking knees! It’s okay to be afraid, just don’t let that fear paralyze you and stop you from facing the day. You can do this. Today is a new day and tomorrow is full of possibilities.

12 replies
  1. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    Thank you Penelope. I hope things in your world are well. Humans are a funny group. Blame is a way out when people open a door and enter a situation that they know nothing about. If you cannot say something nice and useful…..better to say nothing. Be well….stay strong…you matter.

  2. KT
    KT says:

    Thank you for this post…I would love to hand this out to everyone. I’m so tired of people believing everything b/c it’s online. And just because it’s not about them does not mean it doesn’t exist. I wish companies would start more awareness projects for MS like they do for other diseases. People need to learn actual fact not the neat little package wrapped in a bow so many sites try to make it out to be.

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

    Well written Penelope. There is a lot of rubbish out there. I am on the MS Team and there have been some good things that people have come across and it works for them. I haven’t seen a neuro in over 10 ears so I don’t know what is good or bad for me. I know some things can make our life more comfortable and that is alright. One thing that is prelevint from these drug studies is they state there is no cure for MS just some help for some people.

  4. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I have a brother that likes to say things that puts blame on me for certain things. The latest blew my mind. He stated that because I used to smoke and that I drank quite a bit while in college, I’m now 65, it might be the reason I have MS. When I told him that it had nothing to do with me getting MS, he informed me that I didn’t know the reason, so it could be. I didn’t say another thing pertaining to MS, but inside I was just shaking my head and thinking, “What an idiot”.

  5. Sarah C
    Sarah C says:

    Thank you for this, I’ve recently had a relapse and working hard on my recovery. Unfortunately my husband burnt out and had a mental breakdown, partly my illness but also his work/life imbalance. He’s getting a lot better now but unfortunately his family blame me for him being unwell. They seem to think I’m making him ill by me being ill despite us both being extremely positive and optimistic in our outlooks on life. This post has helped me to remember what is reality compared with other people’s perceptions of something they have absolutely no idea about as they don’t live with it everyday! Thank you 😊

  6. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Yeah, right- some people really seem to think I actually WANTED this disease, just to have a good excuse for being “lazy”?!?
    Well, let me tell them – I do indeed prefer my MS to that cancer that recently killed my best friend… 😡

  7. Carole K
    Carole K says:

    Unless you’re trying to find a cure, the past is just that, the past. Most people want to be helpful, but don’t know how. Most people I don’t care to entertain their thought and comments anyway. I can gauge true friends from fair weather ones by their reaction to me with MS. The fair weather one slowly *disappear* because they don’t know what to do while the good friends will stick with you no matter the circumstances. Keep smiling.

  8. Adrian Sohn
    Adrian Sohn says:

    thank you so much for this Penelope , it is true I have blamed myself for getting MS, even though I know that’s not true. It’s just nice to hear it spelled out by someone else


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