Being thankful in the world of multiple sclerosis

Being thankful when you’re hurting seems like an impossible thing to do. How in the world can anyone live a life of gratitude in the middle of a life of pain? You may be looking at everything happening in your life right now and thinking I’m crazy to even suggest such a thing. Being thankful with Multiple Sclerosis on top of everything else going on in life? Yeah, right!

When you look around all you see is pain and hard times. You can’t see anything worthy of thanks. Tears happen way more often than smiles. I get it. I understand how overwhelming and difficult it is to live a life of constant change and uncertainty.

Do this for me…take a moment, pause and look at your life. Look at everything you have come through over the years. You have faced circumstances that seemed impossible to others as well as yourself, but you made it through those times. You have seen heartaches and heartbreaks. You have walked through hell itself more than once. Most of those times you don’t want to relive, but as you look back you find things to give thank for. After all, you endured and didn’t give up. The strength and wisdom you gained during those times are lessons worthy of thanks and gratitude.

Giving thanks when you’re hurting is something most people don’t want to do, just like most don’t want to go to the dentist for a root canal or start a new diet, but the rewards are worth it. You can’t give up hope and allow the weight of your current circumstances keep you from seeing that life is filled with more than just momentary pain. It’s filled with beauty too.

Pain has a way of changing our lives for the good if we let it. You don’t have to give thanks for multiple sclerosis, but you can be grateful for the things it has taught you and continues to teach you. When you approach life with that kind of thinking, you find that being thankful is not only possible, it’s doable.

Find three things that you are thankful for today. You could have a hundred things to want to complain about but choose to focus on three good things that bring you hope. Tomorrow do the same thing…then the next day and the next day do it again. I challenge you to a week of gratitude. Can you make it through an entire week focusing on things each day worthy of thanks?

I’ll start…three things I’m thankful for today:
1. a good cup of coffee to wake me up after a night of no sleep.
2. the beautiful people in my life that go out of their way to help me do the things I can no longer do myself.
3. that my bathroom renovation is in the works and I will soon be able to enjoy an accessible space that I had only dreamed of before.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero


6 replies
  1. bunny
    bunny says:

    it’s much easier to focus on the pain & negativity we all deal with everyday. it becomes the norm. thank you for reminding us to take a minute and give thanks for all our blessings/positives– they’re out there

  2. Rodger Francis Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Francis Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope I hope your bathroom is right for you. We had modified our bathroom by taking out the path and making it a wet shower and rails fitted. This was 20 years ago now they are still working for me even in a shower chair and help from a local agents that supplies help for lots of things.

  3. Jeff Gullang
    Jeff Gullang says:

    Penelope….read your blogs daily…and I am going to take it a step further. Not only giving thanks while dealing with MS, but actually going to give thanks “I was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago”. I am not thankful I have it. I hate everything that comes with MS (10 years of shots, falling down due to foot-drop, using a cane to walk always, getting a scooter[last year], pedal free driving [got last month)], etc).

    Why am I thankful for being dxed? The first year stunk…and it took me a few more years to come to grip with it 100%. But once I accepted it, you still need to live. I am a better person, don’t take things for granted, don’t judge a book by the cover, appreciate everyone around you, and a 100 other items that I am “thankful” for.

    As your site name says you still need to “live with MS” and your site and attitude helped me realize that I am “positive living with MS”. Positively hate I have it, but I positively like the changes the dx prompted.

    • Peggy
      Peggy says:

      Penelope I am thankful for you and your site. That’s my #1! And another is in your “thoughts for the day” especially:
      I’ve started to look at life differently. When you’re thanking God for every little you – every meal, every time you wake up, every time you take a sip of water – you can’t help but be more thankful for life itself, for the unlikely and miraculous fact that you exist at all. ― A.J. Jacobs

  4. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Lovely Idea! 🙂
    Here’s ja list for today:
    1. My breakfast at work – with excellent Italian coffee and wonderful company
    2. The many interesting conversations we had this morning with students from India, Germany, the US, and Italy
    3. Coming home to enjoy the rest of this day, reading your latest post… 😘
    Big big hugs and best wishes!!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to Meeya Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *