Do you want to know who your real friends are?

The world is full of selfish people. Society has become so consumed with the aspiration of becoming famous and important that they overlook and ignore the countless hurting people all around. People with disabilities are often overlooked and many times pushed aside as bothersome. Ears have been closed to their cries and eyes have been shut to their pain. It seems people today are too busy to truly care for anyone except themselves.

Wallace Speers, a businessman, was standing in New York’s Penn Station when an unshaven, ex-convict walked up to him and said: “You look friendly.” He went on to tell Mr. Speers the sad story of his life. When he finished, he looked at Mr. Speers and said, “Will you do something for me? There’s not a soul in the world who cares if I live or die. Would you mind thinking about me for a couple of weeks. If I knew there was someone somewhere thinking about me as a human being, it would be worth a million dollars to me.”

At some point in life I think everyone feels abandoned by someone they thought loved them, had their back, or said they would be there. The hurt of being abandoned or forgotten by someone has this way of convincing you that you are worthless and floods your heart with pain. This past year I had that very thing happen to me. It was by someone that I had always admired and thought highly of but discovered that their words were empty and void of any true meaning or action. I doubt they will ever know just how badly their inaction actually hurt.

I have always told people, “If you want to find out who your real friends are, get diagnosed with a chronic illness and see who sticks around.” It’s sad to say, but oh so true. Living with a chronic illness brings with it this uncanny ability to weed people out of our lives.

We know all too well the loneliness and hopelessness that accompanies a life with multiple sclerosis. We try our best to push through the chaos in hopes that tomorrow will be different, and thankfully sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s not. I am encouraged knowing that my life experiences have the potential of helping ease some of the pain others are facing. If my shared life helps just one person get through their day, then it was worth every tear and every heartache I went through.

Will you do something to reach out to someone who feels all alone? It could be because of a new MS diagnosis or simply one of life’s storms that is overwhelming them at the moment. Will you be different than most of the world and walk in when everyone else walks out?

People are hurting everywhere and we can do our part to help…even if it’s only through a kind word or a smile over the internet. Share that kind word and that smile. It really does matter.

People need people. It’s a lonely world out there all alone. If I could I would personally sit down with each of you and listen to your story, give you a hug and offer a helping hand. Sometimes all we need is knowing that someone cares. I have been inundated with so many emails and messages that I haven’t been able to respond to them all, but I want you to know that if you sent me a message, I’m working on getting to it, just give me some time. I literally have over 1,200 to go through. But you are that important to me and I want you to know that someone cares. You are not alone in this journey with MS. Hang in there.

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.

11 replies
  1. Lara
    Lara says:

    Big hugs and kisses to you Penelope. Thank you for sharing all your time and effort with us. I live in Wales, UK and reading your discussions keeps me centred. I am sorry that there are people out there who are dealing with similar difficulties to me, but it’s also a comfort to know I’m not alone. I’ve got a listening ear for each and every one of you!!

  2. Roland R Clarke
    Roland R Clarke says:

    Sending blessings to you. Your posts help me cope with having MS so much. I moved from the UK where I lived for decades, to the US with my American wife as her family were keen to help us. Sadly, only some have and there are days we regret moving here. (No need to reply as I know what being busy means with MS.)

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

    Thanks Penelope I’m sorry you had to go through that.
    I guess the big thing is to surround your self with good people. It doesn’t mean people at the MS Station, the football club, the Church, the Embroidery group, etc. I mean ever where possible, after all good people don’t do bad things like ignore you and so forth. They don’t have to be super intelligent or as ‘Thick as a Brick’ but just good. Like bad people they are about in the weirdest places but they are still out there. Please everyone get to know them as they will help you more than you will ever know.

  4. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    Yes as others have said .You are an inspiration! Consider yourself hugged and WE know you care…WE also care about You!😍

  5. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    Here is my on screen hug to you Penelope and all that read this. You matter. All good things now and always.

  6. shari
    shari says:

    Thank you for this post, it speaks volumes. I doubt most people have any idea of what a visit can mean to those who can’t get out or find it a challenge. Knowing that someone cares is everything. Thank you again Penelope.

  7. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Penelope,
    I look forward to every one of your posts. I love your sense of humor, and your blog posts are spot on, You’ve helped me in so many ways. I can only wish that I could deal with this with the grace and positivity that you share with us. Thank you so very much!
    Dawn

  8. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Dearest Penelope,
    You certainly make my life different and very worthwile with each of your posts! I really feel you walking with me every step and hope you feel my very warm hugs I’d like to give you every day! 😘

  9. Jan
    Jan says:

    Dear Penelope, you are truly an inspiration to all of us with MS.
    You have helped me get through every tough day. I just want to say Thank You!! God bless 🙏 you for being here for all of us. Jan

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