People may never see your struggle with multiple sclerosis…you are brave even then

The first thing I do every morning is pour myself a cup of coffee and sit in my favorite chair with my laptop to write my morning thoughts for you. If someone would have told me several years ago that my thoughts about my life with multiple sclerosis would be read by people all around the world, I would have probably looked at them crosseyed and lopsided.

I never imagined that my words, put together so early in the morning, would matter…let alone make sense. Yet somehow they come together and bring hope to all who read them.

Today, I feel such amazing and unbelievable thankfulness for you. On days when I’m struggling, just knowing that you are sitting there across the miles reading my rambling words, tender encouragement and quirky sarcasm, warms my heart and gives me a smile that makes each day worth waking up to.

I smile because I know that there’s someone else out there just like me. Someone who at times feels overwhelmed, sad, exhausted, and alone but, who just like me, puts their brave on and greets the day with determination and courage. No one will ever fully understand the battles we face each day and the uncertainties we deal with, many before we even pull back the covers to get out of bed.

People will never hear the arguments I have with myself as I look over the list of things needing to be done in the day knowing full well that my body is ready to collapse. They will never understand the strength it takes to hold on when I’m feeling beaten down and worn out. They will never see the tears that leak through the smile I’ve carefully put in place. They will never know of the ache in my heart as I have to cancel plans I was looking forward to being a part of. They will never grasp the full extent of the challenges I face moving around in a world that is not fully accessible to someone in a wheelchair.

Some days are good and some, to be honest, are downright terrible, but knowing that others are facing similar challenges makes the load considerably lighter, and my world seems a bit less crazy and more manageable.

If there is one thing I could say to you today that will help bring some ease to your heart and the struggle you are facing, it’s this…

You are an incredible, amazing, beautiful individual with a future still ahead of you that is filled with endless possibilities. Your life hasn’t ended because of MS or because of the progression you are experiencing.

I know at times you think that things are over for you, but you really do have great moments ahead that need to be experienced and that you are to be a part of. Many of them are even things that you haven’t even dreamed of yet. Good things. Great things. Amazing things. And one day you will look back on today and be thankful that you kept fighting.

You are brave, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you are weak and tired. Even when all you can see in front of you is a life filled with uncertainties, struggles and pain. You are brave even then.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero


21 replies
  1. Cindy Dubien
    Cindy Dubien says:

    Yes, PLEASE add me to the list. I love reading your blogs. Also I know this is totally off topic but how does one join ‘Bill Putle’ sorry I think I just butchered his last name.

  2. Ann-Marie Waters
    Ann-Marie Waters says:

    Hi Penelope,
    You are an inspiration alright! Thank you so much for your encouraging posts. Thank you for your wisdom and grace too. I absolutely LOVE reading your messages. I was only diagnosed six months ago and have been navigating through this ‘new normal’, trying to keep positive. My family are wonderful and are with me on this journey. I agree, some days are just plain hard! But….. we have not lost our sense of humour in all of this. Yes it’s hard when people say, “Oh you look so well!” Yes it’s hard when I can’t do things for myself. However I keep on going, as you say, with determination and courage.
    Bless you lots and here’s to getting alongside each other on this journey together!

  3. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    Thank you for your words as they encourage me and make me realize that I am not alone… this is a difficult journey, that the majority of the world doesn’t understand and reading your words inspire me to keep going! Thank you!

  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope we have to be brave facing all the mess we have. I had a fall last night because I forgot to do something so simple and I lost control of my right leg. I ended up on the fall and taken to our hospital to find out why, so I told the it was my fault and they accepted that and I was home at 6.00 am and went to bed for a few hours until my home help arrived at 8:30 am.

  5. Janet Stanzel😊
    Janet Stanzel😊 says:

    Reading your posts and everyone’s comments always make me sigh, smile and remember that I am not alone.
    MS can be so lonely, friends don’t call anymore to make plans often leaving me feeling like an unwanted doll just tossed to the side. 😞
    Yet I was the one who supported or encouraged them in tough times before my MS progressed. They fail to remember or neglect to realize that I was there for them. Where are they now?
    Thank you Penelope.
    So thankful for YOUR words that offer me encouragement and remind me that I am not alone. 🤗❤️

  6. Brenda
    Brenda says:

    Thanks for your thoughts this morning. I care for my husband with MS. Your words inspire me to be more understanding, patient, gentle and giving when at times I feel like giving up myself. Bless you.

  7. m.a. spina
    m.a. spina says:

    Thank you a million times over. Your words are such an inspiration! bless your dear heart ❤️. know that you are loved . sending warm hugs from costa rica 🇨🇷 pura vida

  8. Jan
    Jan says:

    I look forward to reading your posts every week knowing I’m not alone in this painful world of MS. You’ve helped me so much to be strong and keep on going. Thank you!! Jan 🥰

  9. Cj Crawford
    Cj Crawford says:

    I’m so with you darling!!! I too awake with a world of possible accomplishments yet to fulfill… I do really well until noonish when the body is simply done. Right now, it’s 10:10 AM so my energy is getting a breather until I hit it again for a bit. Thank you for reminding me that others face the same issues yet awake with possibilities still on their mind!!!

    • Maria
      Maria says:

      I too hit a brick wall of exhaustion…around 2ish
      I can rest for a bit and replenish, but I am never back to my best me. Mornings are my best energy times, time to get things done. Blessings to you all!

  10. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Absolutely!! I am so inspired by your words. I’ve had MS for 25 years and have been SPMS for about 10. Living alone in the US became more than I could manage, financially, so in November I moved to the Philippines! Things are so much better and I have daily help – cooking and cleaning, for what one day (or less!) would have cost in the US.

  11. Martin Dance
    Martin Dance says:

    Hi Penelope
    I have my monthly Tysabri infusion tomorrow & your words are 100% bang on !!
    Lifted me when I needed it most, your words to me were like winning the Lottery !
    Keep up the blogs Penelope whtaever I am doing my day stops to read them, keep fighting everyone were all in it together.

  12. Faith Quigley
    Faith Quigley says:

    It’s like you speak to me. I needed this today, this week as been a rough one for me with depression. I felt your words this week. ❤️
    Thank you!


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