This is for the weary ones, the tired ones, and the “I can’t go on” ones.
This is for the ones who cry behind closed doors yet muster up a smile to face the day.
This is for the ones who dream of the day multiple sclerosis is cured so they no longer have to deal with doctor appointments, meds, needles, and pain.
This is for the ones who keep going, even when they know they need to stop for a moment to do nothing but chill on the couch with a good book or a marathon of their favorite show on TV.
This is for the ones who long to take a vacation where they are waited on hand and foot; no laundry, no dishes, no vacuuming, no work of any kind.
This is for the ones who get stressed and overwhelmed with the demands a life with multiple sclerosis brings.
This is for the ones who find it hard to keep going, who long for a break, who need time off, and who deal with too much.
This is for you.
You are an amazing, courageous, beautiful person. You are not alone. Take some time to do something just for you. That pile of laundry… let it pile up. It doesn’t matter. Take time for you. Treat yourself to a movie, a night out, a steak dinner, a trip through the park, or a giant slice of chocolate cheesecake. Shake off those negative thoughts that cause you to feel worse than MS could ever make you feel.
Stand outside your situation and, for just a moment, try looking in from the outside. Think about what you would say to someone else standing in your shoes. Would you remind them of their value? Would you tell them to worry less? Would you encourage them to ask for help so they aren’t doing everything alone? Would you show them how to smile through the tears?
You have a mountain in front of you… an Everest. That’s your reality. But no matter how big it may be, it can be climbed. Don’t look at its massive size. Choose instead to take your eyes off of the rock in front of you and look out at the beauty all around. Stop for just a moment and breathe. It takes courage, determination and strength… and you have each one.
So as you climb Mount Everest with your heart pounding in your chest and your knees buckling under you, give yourself one tiny moment to realize just how incredible you really are. You are worth it. You matter!
*Penelope Conway was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November 2011. She is the author and founder of Positive Living with MS (http://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.