I Have Multiple Sclerosis and I Still Smile

By Penelope Conway

When terrible things happen, one of the first things to disappear in the chaos is laughter. Somehow all the smiles and giggles that once filled the day get tossed to the wind and pushed aside giving other things more importance. Things like fear, anger, sadness and worries.

For many people, laughter just doesn’t fit in with all that’s happening in their crazy, mixed up world. I mean, how can anyone laugh when their life is falling apart. It just seems impossible…absurd…oh, so wrong.

Laughing does not mean a person is ignoring their reality. It does not mean they are being careless, ignorant or naive. It just means that they are putting down all those weighty, life altering thoughts for a while in order to rest and build up the strength needed for the upcoming battle.

No one knows how long a difficult time will last. It could be hours, days, years, or a lifetime, and laughter is one of those things that simply makes the steps lighter and easier to make in the process.

I, myself, have been known to laugh through tears. That’s kind of like those times when it’s raining outside while the sun is still shining. Seems impossible, but it happens.

Over the years I have discovered that laughter is the very thing – the glue – that holds life together when tragedy strikes. Laughter is important. It’s needed. It’s what puts that little bit of sanity into the insane. It brings out the rainbows and butterflies, and chases away the clouds.

Never apologize for laughing and don’t ever feel guilty for enjoying life in the struggle. The person that can enjoy the journey regardless of the potholes, ditches and mud puddles is a rare breed. Be that rare breed.

Don’t let the things you are facing today take away your ability to laugh. Wear a smile through the tears, go against the flow and allow yourself to laugh, really laugh…and keep on laughing.

I hope these images help to lighten your load and bring a smile to your face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Penelope Conway was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November 2011. She is the author and founder of Positive Living with MS (positivelivingwithms.com) where she uses humor and her own life experiences with MS to help others navigate this unpredictable journey. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. 

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About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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