My Multiple Sclerosis Life is Filled with Seasons of Change

MS changes

By Penelope Conway

This morning I made an absolute mess of things. I was making my morning coffee, and for the umpteenth time, I spilled the coffee grounds all over the floor and myself because my hands fumbled and wouldn’t cooperate. I cleaned myself up and turned the coffee pot on so it could brew me a cup, but left the mess all over the floor for later.

As I’m writing this, I’m sipping on a freshly brewed cup of coffee while sitting in my bed knowing that there’s a mess in the kitchen waiting for me to tackle, but do you know what? It can just wait. My typical OCD self wants it cleaned up immediately but my MS body says not now. Guess who won the argument? (grin)

You never know when something is going to happen to upset the balance in a day especially with MS being a part of things. Even something seemingly small can start the tilt motion in your world and begin toppling life out of control.

When you come to a place where life is no longer “normal”…well, at least no longer your normal, take heart. Days change, times change, seasons change, and as we all know MS changes and we have to learn to shift with those changes. Some changes will come along and they will excite us. Things like a new baby in the family, a graduation, a promotion, a surprise gift. Those things are welcomed and make us smile. They bring joy to our heart and cause our insides to dance.

The changes we seem to cringe about are the ones that upset our comfort. Things like losing the ability to do something, ending a career, shedding friendships, unwelcome shifts to our routine. When those kinds of changes happen, things that we don’t like, there are two choices in front of us. We can become angry, allowing the changes to drown us and swallow any bit of joy we have left inside of us or we can rise above the challenges thrown our way and use them to become a better person.

I know you don’t want to become someone filled with bitterness and anger at what is happening in your life, but I also know that it’s not easy to rise above the challenges of MS and find something of meaning in the changes that are happening. If it was easy everyone would be doing it, right?!

But you…you are strong enough and although at times you grow tired and long to throw in the towel, you are not a quitter. Don’t ever let a set back, change, or mess in life stop you from living. Keep moving. Keep going. MS may end your ability to do something but it can never keep you from living. As the seasons in life change you get the opportunity to change right along with them…for the better.

This morning you are awake, breathing, your heart is beating, you’re alive. If that’s the only thing you can be thankful for…that’s still a great day. Take things one moment at a time, one step at a time, one second at a time if you must. The changing seasons in life won’t last but the strength they build in you will.

*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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