“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

When I look up, I see my dreams hovering in the sky. And despite my broken wings, my aspirations still take flight. Somehow they circle the universe and return to earth as answered prayers. Shining so bright they humiliate the stars. Holding me up when I am falling down. Covering my body with armor to protect me from pain.

MS seems to dole out a full dosage of detrimental dysfunction. It is wickedly devoted to destruction. And its been chasing me for years. But now the soles of my shoes are all worn out from the running I’ve done. Running from the pain of my situation. Making me dizzy from the hopelessness. Sadden by the suffering of everyone who has walked in my shoes. And if you are reading this, then most likely the same thing that grows in me flows through you.

So in order to keep myself from going crazy, I sometimes celebrate during the chaos. That’s when I dream. And I love it. Especially when I soar to the heavens. So I try to do it everyday.

Except when my symptoms keep me on the ground. My multicolored daydreams are blown away by reality. Pausing the rainbows of life. Killing adolescent wishes. Padlocking hope. Generating a fear so potent it carries its own heartbeat. Developing a pulse that swallows the carefree attitude of a pre-exacerbation mind.

So strong you can smell it. A conspiracy of pain that forms toxic fumes. It’s the fragrance of fear. A swarming roar of black doubt, that creates a fatigue for living.

But despite the intensity of my symptoms, I still move forward. Gathering myself to collect the fragments of my life that are left behind. Saving them in the hopes of regaining lost time.

And even though I know the days that were shortened by foot drags and extreme exhaustion are gone forever. Those wasted hours of slurred words and wall walking are never coming back. I still have a life to live.

So, when the exacerbations subside, I use that time to enjoy myself and to be free. Free to flap my wings and fly like everyone else. Free to not only have aspirations but also for those goals to come true. Because I don’t just have a dream, I have a galaxy full of dreams. And nothing, not even my circumstance, will ever stop that.