For the love of shoes…

I love shoes. I really do. Even though I’m tall—over 6 foot—I would wear 3 inch heels proudly. When multiple sclerosis came along, it messed up my shoe choices. I could no longer wear heels because my numb feet and legs were unable to manage even the slightest of wobbles or unsteadiness. I also had a tendency to walk out of a flip-flop without even realizing I had done so and slip-ons, well, let’s just say they wouldn’t stay on.

I remember the day I decided to pack up my unwearable shoes to donate to charity. It was a hard hitting blow of reality for me. One I didn’t want to face but knew I needed to undertake. I couldn’t walk in most of the shoes I owned and they were just filling up space in my closet, so instead of seeing them every day and feeling sad because I couldn’t wear them, I decided to pass them on to those who could. It was a tearful time, but a freeing one as well.

And for anyone thinking, “Oh, just save them to wear anyway since you’re in a wheelchair.”

That’s not actually as simple as it sounds. It’s amazing how unstable my feet, ankles and legs are even from a seated position in a wheelchair. Flats are my only option, although I have been known to leave the house barefoot more than once. Besides, I can still look stylish in flats.

I knew by giving away my unwearable shoes, I would be able to bring smiles to people and that someone would be walking tall and proud in a new pair of heels—new to them at least. That made my heart smile. Knowing that I was helping someone else made my day brighter.

Over time, I have realized that there are moments when reality knocks on your door and other times when it smacks you upside the head opening your eyes to what you’ve known for quite some time…that multiple sclerosis has changed your life. But don’t let MS change your heart by allowing it to grow bitter and resentful of what you are no longer able to do.

I guess some people could see me giving my shoes away as not being hopeful enough. That I am giving up and allowing MS to call the shots, but I don’t see it that way. To me, if I’m not using something, I would rather give it away to those that can than keep it stored away for a future time that may never come.

That’s reality, not hopelessness…and besides, they are only shoes. If the time should ever come when I’m able to walk free or even dance, at that time I will go shopping and buy a new pair of shoes.

Life is so much more than shoes and, oh, so much more than things stored away. Life is for living now….today. Don’t hold onto what used to be. Move forward into the now and live, letting go of those things that hold you back.

12 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    I too loved heels worked in corporate job. Gave them to my sisters slowly got lower and into flats. Now that in wheelchair still have flats when transfer to toilet shoes matter! 😑

  2. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    I did that too…but gave them to my sisters, niece… they can still use them! Some were brand new!
    I tried still wearing a few since in wheelchair But when trying to transfer to toilet..not good just won’t work. 😕
    Jeans, work pants,suits etc…its pull on ‘Mom’ jeans as pt called them. Those latest styles of tunic shirts & skinny pants(?) are great. Easy on easy off! Love them 😉

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

    Thanks Penelope a great movement to take. I have finally got over the tools I have got. I used to repair all sorts of things, including cars and other machinery. That has gone so somehow the tools must go to. I am trying to get them to a good home and that is hard for me now. But we’ll sort something out.

  4. alicia
    alicia says:

    i did it a few years ago 🙁 took a while to realize traveling and packing with shoes and work clothes was in my past , let alone a lot of busy lifeStyle
    i donated them all as well knowing some other chick can get on the corporate ladder looking good lol
    now i am a slipper wearing yoga pant loving lady 🙂 🙁 it sucks but it is what it is right 🙂

  5. Holly
    Holly says:

    oh girl… i am soooo with you. finding comfortable shoes is a nightmare!! it has now ranked up there with:
    finding jeans 👖 that flatter the figure and trying on bathing suits 👙🤣.

    • Peggy
      Peggy says:

      I’m with you …Pull on ‘Mom’ jeans so hard find flattering you! Did find some…the latest swim dresses look promising but still unsure.

  6. Janiene
    Janiene says:

    I used to love my heels but after some serious consideration I realised they were just taking up space and taunting me. It was time to move on and get rid. I do get shoe envy though and am amazed by women dancing in heels! I now have some pretty, sparkly flats and block heels that have slightly more stability but still add an inch or two to my height.

  7. Luz Rivera
    Luz Rivera says:

    I had to give up a lot more than shoes but I’m still here fighting fighting everyday just to get up the next day. Ms is hard but you can’t give up everyday is a struggle but you can’t give up life is struggle but you can’t give up thank you

  8. Carole K.
    Carole K. says:

    I cried the day that I gave up all my wonderful shoes that I spent so much time fussing over. The new normal is a 6 1/2 c on the right foot and a 7 1/2 ddd on my left foot fitted with an AFO. I have traded style over comfort. It is not only liberating, but it’s okay for me.

    Thank you for sharing.


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