Multiple Sclerosis Changed My Life

Multiple Sclerosis Change

By Penelope Conway

Life changes. It changes things around you and it even changes you…more than you realize. When multiple sclerosis came into my life, it happened quickly. So quickly in fact that I didn’t even have an opportunity to blink before the tsunami hit. There weren’t months or years of unanswered symptoms. I had a healthy body one day and a non-functioning one the next. My diagnosis only took days where, for many, it can be a long and exhausting process.

The initial shock for me was a difficult one to face because I didn’t see it coming. The storm clouds it opened over my head distorted my ability to think properly and took me time to sort through. Not only did life around me change, I changed too. I consider it a good change though because I learned more about myself, life and others than I ever imagined possible.

For some people, an MS diagnosis is more of a relief than a whirlwind because at least there is an answer to the sea of problems that never had an explanation before. Once a reason is discovered, their thoughts are able to rest…those crazy, wandering, “what if” thoughts.

No matter how MS came into your life or how a diagnosis was determined, you have to admit it changed you. That’s the thing about life, it doesn’t let you or anything around you become stagnate. Each new day is filled with new lessons, new beginnings and new endings.

Everything you have experienced in life has left you with greater wisdom and a deeper understanding into things that you never knew you were going to need. Sometimes those things happen because of the struggle and other times because of the joys. Without the good and the bad experiences in life, you wouldn’t be the person you are today.

Sure, you have taken some detours and gone down roads that were scary and uncharted. Places you would have never chosen if you knew where they would lead. But stop and look around at the strength you have today because of the road you went down yesterday. Some people think change is a bad thing, but for the butterfly change is where their beauty lies. Without change they would never realize that within them they have the ability to fly.

Life is always moving so it’s important to move with it. That doesn’t mean you agree with it or that you are giving in to it. It means you are getting stronger, wiser and becoming more of the person you were meant to be.

Hold your head up high in confidence today as you move down your road in life. Just when the butterfly thought its world was over it turned into a butterfly. Without change there would be no butterflies.

You are growing stronger and so much wiser with each passing day. I even think I see some wings beginning to form. You can’t give up now! Hang on and be prepared to fly.

*Penelope Conway was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November 2011. She is the author and founder of Positive Living with MS ( 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

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit or call (800) 532-7667.

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