Reflecting on a Year of Blessings in My Life With SPMS

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

by Jennifer (Jenn) Powell |

Share this article:

Share article via email
optimism, meditation, fear, emotions, judgment, reflecting, cog fog, positivity

The holiday season has always been a time of reflection. The year passes by in a montage of memories. I am reminded of the past 11 months. The highs and the lows. My hopes and my aspirations. Those lives that have been lost and those that have just begun.

It’s my year in review. And as these moments pass, I am reminded of my blessings. Sometimes they are shrouded in progression and pain, and it can be difficult to see that beauty exists alongside the beast of a disease. In retrospect, I can better delineate.

I see just how many battles I have waged. And won. I am here, therefore I won. They might not have ended exactly how I would have preferred, but I am here to reflect on them. I think of those who are not here. Those whose battles were fought as valiantly as my own. And I give thanks for this moment.

Gratitude in the face of pain is trying. Thankfulness amid disability is challenging. Although difficult, both are essential to our ability to thrive. Since when has difficulty been a deterrent? We slay more dragons in a year than most will in a lifetime. Or three.

I am learning how to find blessings. Much like the Highlights puzzles of my youth, blessings are hidden in plain sight. They blend in among life’s everyday trials and tribulations. Only in hindsight can we comprehend their beauty.

Unbeknownst to us at the time, the seed planted has taken root. We unwittingly grow from these lessons. And as we do, we share them with those around us. Blessings will sometimes seem forever hidden. Remember that our perception dictates our view of reality. Try a new perspective and your perception will change. You will find that a bevy of blessings awaits.

It has been 11 years since my diagnosis, and I am still finding blessings left undiscovered. I know that in time, each will reveal itself.

Pain, progression, and symptomatology may require us to search a bit longer. But in this season of thanks and giving, I remain patient. I remember that nothing about fighting secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is a sprint. This marathon is long. But I am built to slay both dragons and darkness. I have hope. And hope shines from within like a beacon of light.

Gifted light, I will never stop searching.


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.


Michelle Silvers avatar

Michelle Silvers

Jennifer, I too have SPMS. I was forced to 'retire' from my job as an emergency/trauma RN in 2012 because of physical disability. It is difficult, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but one does learn to look for blessings. Thank you for your thoughts. God bless you and be with you as you continue dealing with MS. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year to you.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

MS Podcast
MS sidelined his dreams of playing pro football, so Tyler called an audible! Listen in as Jenn chats with Tyler Campbell, son of Football Hall of Fame legend Earl Campbell.

Listen here.

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

Listen Here