Try walking in my shoes before judging how I live

I wear shoes most days. Although I still prefer my barefoot moments, protecting my feet is way more important these days especially since I don’t have much feeling in them anymore. You’d be amazed at how many times I still bump my feet throughout the day from a wheelchair. My driving skills aren’t always that great, just ask the walls and doors.

My everyday shoes are a bit worn and scuffed even though I don’t walk in them any longer. I have been many places with them on my feet. If they could talk they would tell of things like how I once went to a surprise party to celebrate my birthday. I shed tears of joy that day and had a beautiful night filled with laughter and dancing. I felt unstoppable and on top of the world.

They would also tell of the day I went to the doctor’s office for tests because I was having a hard time walking, seeing and feeling parts of my face. That day was a day of tears too, but of sorrow not of joy. It was a day I wish I didn’t have to go through, but my shoes were with me and walked me down the sterile hallways of the hospital into the unknown. They saw my pain and felt my discomfort as a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was made. If only they could talk.

No one has ever walked in my shoes. I doubt they could fit in them even if they tried. I think my shoes are a little like Cinderella’s…you know, how out of everybody in the kingdom, no one had a foot her size or could fit into her lost shoe. It’s amazing how not even one person could wear her shoe. It was unique to her.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, yet for all the times I’ve heard that said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually doing it. Could you imagine a football player with a ginormous foot walking in a dainty girl’s shoes that were two sizes too small…for an entire mile? I doubt he would make it a few feet (no pun intended) let alone a mile.

People like to throw out opinions of how we should live our life and what our journey should look like, but in actuality, they don’t know the road we have to travel. Don’t allow someone to judge your pain or your response to the difficulties in life while standing in their own shoes, not once putting them aside to even try walking in yours first. They can’t know your pain, sorrow, happiness, joy, ups, downs, depression, heartache…they can’t know your life if they aren’t willing to set aside their own judgments to consider what your life is really like.

We each have our own journey and our own shoes to wear. When you put your shoes on today, remember how far you’ve come and the miles you’ve already been. Each scuff mark is a story of trying. Each smudge is a part of not giving up. And know this…your journey isn’t complete yet. You still have many, many miles to go.

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.

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

    Thanks for the humor and other thoughts you wrote here.No one can walk in anyone’s shoes as they (the shoes) tell a different story for everyone. And I don’t think anyone could walk in their shoes as they tell what the wearer has done and where they have been. For example I was in a car accident that wrote the car off and had 5 stickers in my forrid to hold the wound closed. And later that day I saw,the first time, a person’s face turned white because he thought we were ghosts as the car was a mess and he thought we should have been in hospital or the morgue.
    Now no one could ‘walk’ in that place and be the same as me. This will also apply to my MS and even the best person could never deal with what I have, and what everyone here has.

  2. Enelida Reyes
    Enelida Reyes says:

    Than you so very much for giving voice to what so many times we try to explain to others, never so clearly and on point like you have done again.

  3. Shonn
    Shonn says:

    Thank you for the wonderful words that you share with so many. I was diagnosed with MS on Dec. 31 2017. Initially a few weeks prior to that date I begin noticing my vision was starting to become blurry especially in my left eye. I didn’t put much into it other than my sinus was starting to bother me and i had been staring at my tablet to long. I decided to go to see a dr thinking maybe i have sinus infection now because i had pressure and headache over my left eye. The dr didn’t see anything alarming but was definitely concerned with the pressure over my eye so she immediately had me go to the E.R. and gave them heads up I was coming. The ER said I was having a classic migraine and did a ct scan and administered a migraine cocktail and a couple hours later I was in my way home. Still not satisfied because i knew something was off, I went and git an eye exam and the dr show ed me the haze over my left eye that was troubling me and called the hospital to set me up with an eye specialist in which that dr confirmed the same and schedule d me for an MRI. Next ER visit was because i was numb from my hands down to my toes and couldn’t feel hot water and ER dr was puzzled when he put an ice cube on my foot and it felt warm to me. He went and spoke with a neurologist and they both agreed to change my MRI to include the dye to get better images. Low and behold 3rd ER visit was because of my walking, I kept leaning to the left like I was drunk. Once someone was able to see me they got me up out the bed and had me try to walk and I almost hit the floor immediately and the dr said ok you definitely can’t walk and that is when I got my MRI results stating that I had MS. All my symptoms hit me within a matter of 2 weeks. I’m happy to know what is going on with me but it’s been an uphill battle but I’m staying positive through it all and I’m thankful to have ran across this blog just to read great stories from everyone. Im sorry for the long post but I feel relieved sharing my story.

  4. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    …and I have a wonderful walking companion: you! 🙂
    TX again 😘
    Still…how come those shoes are so bloody uncomfortable most of the time..?!

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