Every Day Is Like a Box of Chocolates

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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Each morning, I’m confronted by an adaptation of the conundrum faced by Forest Gump’s mother: “Life [is] like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get.”

If I can’t get myself out of bed, it’s going to be a bad one. I may be in recovery from a previous active day, I might have an infection (invariably a urinary tract infection), or it’s the dreaded relapse. Or it might be none of these, but rather just an inexplicably bad day. They can get better as well. In the morning I may feel terrible, and everything I attempt is like trying to finish the last 400 meters of a marathon. Then, by the afternoon, it’s gone. Was I just being overdramatic?

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I don’t want to be politically incorrect or take the travails of dealing with a mental illness lightly, but it’s like my body, rather than my brain, exhibits bipolar symptoms. On Sunday, I felt so energized that I started daydreaming about going out for a jog! Obviously, I had to scale it down a tad and instead did the full gamut of exercises designed for me by a neurological physiotherapist. But instead of doing three or 10 reps, I did 100!

The next day, I paid for it, and the morning was physically difficult. But that’s OK — it’s understandable.

It’s when it happens out of nowhere that I find it infuriating. I might have built in enough rest time to power my way through an evening’s work, but sometimes nothing helps. I get through it by having to accept more physical help than normal. Luckily, my job as a comedy producer only requires mental dexterity, and somehow I still manage to function at this. As the stand-ups I work with gleefully point out, I was no better at it when I was well!


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I was just making a joke with myself about how excited I was with my accomplishment of taking a shower. This led my thinking to "ooooh what can I do next"? Then I found that the couch was pulling me like a giant magnet for my butt! What the hell?! I began wondering around my house chanting "I don't want to sit down"! I was literally having a small child-like tantrum, not wanting to sit down. So, why is it I am now sitting down? OMG, I was laughing so hard at myself about this. I was thinking what a lie it is when people say wherever your mind goes, the body will follow. Ha, not my body! LOL! Cheers to lightheartedness, and not taking this disease, or myself too seriously.

Laura NP avatar

Laura NP

I hear this same story on repeat with my patients. Love your comedic approach. I just tell my patients to give themselves some grace. I need this printed so I can hang it in my office... MS.....like a box of chocholates!!!! #truth

Victoria Haskins avatar

Victoria Haskins

This is so true! When I was first diagnosed,in the 1990's I always said that quote "Life is indeed a box of chocolates"

Lynda - avatar

Lynda -

Went to my exercise class and my therapist (and I) so impressed with the "amazing progress" I had made over the past three weeks. Hmm. next day was as stiff as a board, couldn't walk without my stick and was in major pain. MS not happy with my progress. Another session this morning and I will take it slow


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