How can anything good come from a life of pain?

How can anyone live with a chronic illness and still smile? How is it that I am able to find happiness after a disease has stolen away a flourishing career, ended friendships, isolated me from much of the world, and many times confined me to my house?  How is it that I am not falling apart along with the rest of my world?

I must be living in denial or in some sort of fantasy world that I’ve made up in my own head. No one can have progressive multiple sclerosis and still find purpose in life. No one can have their life striped away; have moments, if not days, of tears; live in continual, relentless pain, fatigue and weakness yet find themselves not cursing the world, their disease and everyone or anything that says differently.

How can anything good come from a life of pain?

My response…

Pain has taught me that joy is possible. After all, I wouldn’t know the treasure a smile could bring if I didn’t know the misery of continual pain. I wouldn’t hold dear those moments of peace I experience if I had never lived through days of chaos and disorder. I wouldn’t appreciate the little things in life that so easily get passed by as nonsense or unimportant by most people if I hadn’t been in a place where those things were all that kept me going.

I don’t know what the next moment in my life or tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if today will end in tears or laughter. I don’t know if I will be able to gain enough strength to fight my way through. I don’t know if my hands or legs will fail me when I need them the most. I don’t know if there’s really a light at the end of the tunnel or if I’m heading towards a tragic collision with the 6 o’clock train. There are a lot of things I simply don’t know.

But I do know one thing…MS cannot and will not define me. I used to be so brave. I used to be a tower of strength. I used to be a mighty warrior. But now…now I’m a warrior with shaky knees, trembling hands, covered in scars and with tears in her eyes. I have been striped naked and bare because of MS, but today…today, I put my foot down and refuse to sink amidst the swirling tumultuous seas that push against me. I refuse to quit. I refuse to give up.

Today, the battle I am facing begins in my mind. I am reminding myself and you, that we are more than MS. We are more than the pain. More than the loneliness, struggles and fears.  We are true warriors! And although people may never understand the battles we face or see the internal struggles that take place in our lives, we stay in the fight…weak, but grateful for one more day.

Wear your medal of honor, bravery and courage proudly today. Hold your head high. You are a hero…a gutsy, courageous, mighty MS warrior! You are strong enough. You are brave enough. You are tough enough.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero

 





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

    Thanks Penelope we are all awesome and don’t let anyone tell you any difference. If they try to just tell them a little of what you are going through and tell them to try and do that. Sorry don’t try to tell them, just tell them and let them understand some of what you have to do. I have some carers from an organizing here and one or who have been really good for me and some have been a little overwhelming and I have to show what I need done. It’s a bit hard when you sometimes don’t know what you need. A good challenge all the same.

    Reply
  2. Tiffany Lanthier
    Tiffany Lanthier says:

    Thank You Penelope ❤️❤️ You always know how and when to help me with your awesome words 😊 You Rock Penelope ❤️😘

    Reply
  3. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    I wish I could think like you right now. Nothing is going right. Me with PPMS and now my husband with heart issues. Why go on?? I’m no good to anyone. How do I turn my mind around???

    Reply
    • Peggy
      Peggy says:

      Kathy i understand this so much ad our situation is similar. Keep telling yourself As my husband says “You are reason for me to hang on. That’s your reason why you go on!” Hugs

      Reply
  4. Dave Burhans
    Dave Burhans says:

    You are awesome!!! I am so grateful to have you as a member of my care team. I wish I could help you like you help me. Your words are more effective than the shots and pills I’ve been prescribed. Thank you very very much.

    Reply
  5. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Thank you Penelope for putting in words what I needed to hear and be reminded of. Yes like you, I was the mighty warrior but now I am the warrior with shaky legs, numb hands but also like you I will not give up. Thank you for reminding me that I am still a warrior and that this disease does not define me. Thank You and God Bless You!!!!

    Reply
  6. bunny
    bunny says:

    wow!! ya got me in tears with this post. also, no disrespect or un empathy for your struggles (to say the least), you have helped me open my eyes. a much needed and welcomed wake up call. your fight is so much harder than mine. i complain or get all bent out of shape over the small stuff. i’m embarrassed. i need to keep my life in perspective and embrace my blessings.(almost 10 years in and still riding the rrms roller coaster)

    Reply
  7. Vicky
    Vicky says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear today! Its like you read my mind cuz I have been asking that very question. Now I have a good answer for myself and others. Thank you! 💜💜🎗🎗

    Reply
    • Peggy
      Peggy says:

      Thank you for these words of encouragement! Needed this! Often think as one of the Thoughts for today
      “I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning. ― Haruki Murakami”
      BUT as you say i will not quit! 😘

      Reply

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