Don’t let Multiple Sclerosis make you feel as miserable mentally as your body actually feels

There have beens days when I have looked over the entirety of my life and wished things were different. I have even envied people who are not disabled. What? I shouldn’t think like that?

Sure that’s easy to say, but thoughts happen, and in my head they seem to happen more often than I care to admit. I don’t think you would want to live a day in my head. It’s kind of scary in there. I can think of some pretty crazy ideas and have some equally wild pity-party moments.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve never wanted things to be different, because I have. Those thoughts seem to appear when the struggle is at its worst…when my muscles stop working, my brain takes a vacation and pain intensifies.

I could let my disability ruin my day and cause me to become as miserable mentally as my body actually feels, or I could let it help me learn to appreciate the little things in life that we tend to take for granted. Things like the fact that my roof isn’t leaking, my shower works, someone somewhere loves me, and multiple sclerosis may be a part of my life but it’s not who I am.

One thing living with a disability has taught me is that there is so much to be thankful for. I think of the people who won’t have the opportunity to get through today and that’s enough to make me appreciate everything I have, whether it’s pain, the inability to do something or the complications MS throws my way.

I can overcome anything if I take my day and break it up into tiny bite-sized chunks. A friend once told me that it’s easy to eat an elephant. Not a real elephant, mind you. I wouldn’t even want to do that. But a giant obstacle you are facing. She said you do it one bite at a time. So that’s how I break my day up…one bite at a time. I may find things hard to swallow at times, but when I keep at it, I find that I’m able to get through anything that comes my way. That impossible elephant suddenly becomes possible.

I may end up weary, bruised and tattered when the day comes to a close, but regardless of the struggle I will hold my head high and keep pushing on. Other people…I doubt they would be able to get through an hour in my MS body, let alone a day.

Take time to enjoy the little things in life that bring you joy. Allow yourself time to smile. Appreciate the roses and the sunsets along with the splinters and stormy skies. Hold on to the good in life and don’t let it go.

8 replies
  1. Jana Morgan
    Jana Morgan says:

    Hi Penelope, I don’t know what I would do without your wonderful words that lift my spirit again and again and make me feel as I am not alone in this life we have to live. You make the hard road we have to take every day just a bit easier to get through. Thank you so very much.

  2. shari
    shari says:

    Thank You Penelope for writing your many posts throughout the year. Know that you have made other’s lives better by modelling such and positive life, while not denying the obstacles that each one faces. There is power in your words. I would just like to wish you a very Happy Holiday and a great big Thank You.

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

    Thank Penelope, we do need to accept the way we are. I have thought about that too. We all have had a different life before this. Most of us had a job (and some still do) but really we are in a different ‘job’ and it’s not the same as before. We have to find out what we can do and do it.

  4. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    I love elephants!! 🐘
    & all your motivating posts 😘 – another thing I’m thankful for, as I’d never have “met” you without MS…😀


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