MS Doesn’t Get to Decide Whether We Are Enough

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

by Jennifer (Jenn) Powell |

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“Change is the only constant in life,” a quote paraphrased from Greek philosopher Heraclitus states. This ancient wisdom still prevails today.

Life is in a constant flux. We evolve, we grow, and we shift, and we are never the same. When I suffer, I cling to this knowledge. And when I fear that I’m stagnating, it offers me perspective.

Secondary progressive MS commands that I adapt. I try to keep it simple, because it is easy for me to complicate matters. I sometimes overthink, overanalyze, deconstruct, and so forth. But to what avail? My house of cards is precarious. Unless I am flexible, a crash is inevitable.

I do not find solace in the decision to dominate MS. I do not find peace in the decision to acquiesce to MS. Peace within exists in the ability to move with the ebb and flow of life. It can only happen on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes even minute by minute. When I manage my disease in kind, I can then manage myself. I repeat the Serenity Prayer.

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It takes courage to live with multiple sclerosis. Those of us with this disease are strong. All of us. Even you. Especially you. I dedicate this to you.

You may feel defeat, exhaustion, grief, and loss, and yet you are strong. Your strength is not contingent upon your multiple sclerosis — they are mutually exclusive. Your decision to try again is tenacious. Your ability to remain open is your fortitude. You are enough.

I examine my own ability to persevere. MS does not define that ability — I do. The pain, fatigue, insomnia, and cog-fog unravel me from inside out. However, none of these aspects defines me — only I can do that. Does this disease bring me to my knees? Yes. But that moment is transient.

My father offers sage wisdom in his words, ‘This too shall pass.” And it does. It can take time, but it does.

You are more than your MS. I am, too. Multiple sclerosis will always be part of who we are, often more than we would like. But it doesn’t replace you. You are still there.

Recognize the light that shines from within yourself. Perhaps that light is nothing more than a spark right now. But much like a pilot light, it never ceases to exist. If your light is low, borrow a flame and reignite yours. We are here to illuminate one another.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Marcia avatar


Your words have helped me today, as I struggle with pain and the mental illness of my ms, these words have given me hope, thanks, ?

Hugh Montgomery avatar

Hugh Montgomery

Jennifer, I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
I am 64 years of age, been living with SP MS for the last five years,
I struggle to put into words how it actually is, you have created the perfect description of life with our foe in tow!
Thank you so much indeed, I am a bit of a tough character, those words created a tear or two, but tears of relief not sadness! I really hope you do not mind me sharing this with a couple of friends/ family members as it will explain something that I find extremely hard to do.
Again many thanks to you, take good care

Catherine Carroll avatar

Catherine Carroll

Over 20years of being misdiagnosed, labelled Lupus. Bloods taken, Lupus screening came back negative, no surprise. My attention was drawn to Oral and facial manifestations especially trigeminal neuralgia, and facial manifestations. GP agreed to prescribe same drugs a friend was prescribed for MS, helping with TN and sleeping at night. I enjoyed your battle of words during your fight with pain, brain fog, forgetfulness etc and how MS does not define who you are. I live alone and lie down in my green pastures, until I am healed and renewed to get up and battle on. Enjoying lightning and thunder rain lashing down on to the window sill, cleansing and cooling and bringing me solace. Thank you for sharing your light and feeding us when we get lost. Sending the word, peace and love x

Leanne avatar


My meme is also 'This too shall pass'. Sometimes it takes a long time. I am experiencing a flare of TN. I wonder which is worse - the pain, or the drugs I need to get rid of the pain. They slow me down, my movement, my thinking, my plans, ideas, desires for anything.

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell

Hi Leanne,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am sorry you are experiencing a flare of TN. I really empathize with your questions about pain vs medication to treat pain. The side effects are frustrating and do impede our ability. Yet, pain is so awful. Maybe together we can take it day by day.

Genie avatar


Thank you for these comforting words. After having a horrible MS et al. couple of days, I really needed to hear that it will ge better again.
Keep strong fellow MS warriors, we cannot let this disease extinguish our light!

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell

Hi Genie,

Thank you for your inspiring call to action! I am sorry you have had a couple of rough days, and it sounds like you share the adage that this, too, shall pass. You most certainly shone your light on me today. Thank you.

Jennifer Powell avatar

Jennifer Powell

Dear Marcia,
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I am so sorry you are experiencing such physical and emotional pain. It certainly does become overwhelming some days. I am grateful you found some solace here. My heart is with you.

Meaghan avatar


Thank you! I appreciate your words of wisdom ?? I saved this article & have re-read this a few times. On tough days & less yet it's helpful each time I read it?


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