Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

Why The Hell Should I Keep Writing?

After our summer of sadness we’re now focusing on the sale of our house. Don’t say congratulations! I know you mean well, but as I’m sure the immediate world knows by now (because I talk and write about it ad nauseum) I don’t ever want to leave my home.


We’re in the throes of looking for a place to live. The rental market is HOT in our area so it’s easier said than done. Our days are filled with cleaning closets, donating books and clothing, calling realtors, visiting properties, interviewing movers and hiring contractors to finish up the buyer’s punch list. 

I’m also trying to keep up with the responsibilities of my job as well as taking care of my family, our fur babies and my MS.

I’m doing my best to gain a healthier perspective about pervasive feelings of sadness. I’ve never been good with change and we’ve had more than our share lately. I’m trying to focus on the idea that life unfolds in ways we never imagined. We have to try and lean into the ride, be flexible about our circumstances and accept what is. It’s all about letting go and moving on with as much grace and dignity as possible.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I thought I’d offer an update on what I’ve been working on for the past few months. Writing and helping others is my passion. It’s the fuel that keeps me going despite the craziness of the world. I hope you’ll take a closer look at whatever strikes your fancy.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”


Photo Credit:

This is my third year as a contributor and moderator for, a Health Union platform. I am proud of my association with HU. They are kind and compassionate people who are devoted to giving a voice to those living with health challenges. As a moderator I answer readers’ questions – peer-to-peer – on their Facebook page. As a contributor I can choose any topic to write about without editorial control. Here are three of my recent posts:

Five Ways to Help You Battle Stress and Anxiety

Four Ways to Help You Cope with Loss After a Miscarriage

Six Ways to Help You Manage Grief After Losing a Loved One


Photo Credit:

It’s a great honor to be the official blogger for The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) whose members provide care for more than 200,000 individuals all over the world.

As their blogger I’ve been blessed to conduct interviews with CMSC members for my blog,, and for and The Huffington Post. Take a look at past interviews and stay tuned for more interviews in the coming months. 

What is a Rehabilitation Therapist and How Can They Help You? 

How a Professor is Using Social Media to Make Healthcare More Accessible

How Yoga Can Transform Your Life One Class at a Time

What Happens When Brilliant Minds Focus on Improving the Quality of Patients’ Lives?


Photo Credit:

I’ve been asked to write several articles for an exciting new app called Mango Health whose aim is to “make it easy and even fun to develop good habits around daily health management.” Aside from their blog Mango offers ways to keep track of medications, record your weight, check your blood pressure and more. Give their app a try!

Check out my published piece for Mango Health, Living with Multiple Sclerosis: 4 Ways My Diagnosis Made Me a Better Person and look for more posts coming this fall.  


Photo Credit: The Huffington Post

I’m proud to be a regular contributor to The Huffington Post where I educate readers about what it’s like to live with a disability. Two of my recent posts are meaningful to me. If you have a chance please take a look:

How The New York Times is Creating a Compassionate World 

How is the Patient Perspective Creating Positive Change? 


Photo Credit:

I was asked to write a piece titled How I Use My Voice for Better Patient Care for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s blog, MS Connection. Using our voices and being active in the international registry,NARCOMS, is what will lead to better research and more effective treatments for MS.


Photo Credit:

I’ve written some pieces for The Mighty, a wonderful new website that helps us “face disability, disease and mental health together.” I encourage you to check them out and while you’re there here’s one of my posts:

How Multiple Sclerosis Helped Me Like Being Different in a World of Copycats

Finally I’ve been doing my best to write weekly posts here for An Empowered Spirit. I hope you’ll check out what I’ve had to say!

So why the hell should I keep writing? Because what helps YOU in turn helps me. What empowers YOU empowers me. What inspires YOU inspires me. What matters to YOU absolutely matters to me. So I’ll keep writing until I can no longer write.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens





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23 thoughts on “Why The Hell Should I Keep Writing?

  1. Janet O'Neil

    Love, love, love you! Forging ahead through difficult circumstances, in spite of your feelings, is a true testimony to your character. You are an inspiration and will continue to be one, no matter where you hang your hat.

  2. Elaine Ambrose

    You inspire me every day, Cathy, and I look forward to your comments and posts. Please keep writing. You bring hope and encouragement to people you’ll never meet. I’m sorry you’re sad about moving and wish we could all come over and help in some way. Keep the faith. You’re a treasure.

  3. Leanne

    You have done so much amazing work for so many worthwhile sites. Keep writing, keep smiling and stay strong through this upheaval. It’s easy for everyone to say that because it’s not them dealing with all the stress, but one day you’ll be sitting in your new place and looking back at this with a smile.
    Leanne recently posted…MIDLIFE ROCKS! ~ GrandbabiesMy Profile

  4. Terri Jackson

    I can feel your sadness, life does unfold in ways we never imagined. I am awed by your focused determination to continue writing. You have produced an amazing body of work. Holding you close in thought as you face yet another goodbye and radical change in your life. I am honored to call you friend, you have inspired me today and everyday.

  5. Helene Cohen Bludman

    My heart goes out to you, my friend, because I know that your summer of sadness hasn’t really ended. I hope that new and exciting experiences are just around the corner. Your writing continues to inspire and help so many, and also I think writing can be cathartic. Keep on keeping on, and know that your readers are sending you the most positive wishes.

  6. Cathy Sikorski

    You are such an inspiration to us all, Cathy. That being said, you should keep writing, of course, because you have no idea whose life may be changed, empowered or just better for a moment by something you’ve written. As to your home, I feel the same way. My husband is ready to go, but I’m holding on with grit and not really sure why. I actually like change, or at least, I thought I did…..hmmmm. In any event, like the brave, strong girl you are, you will make lemonade even better than Beyonce!!! Love to you and thanks for the post am going to some of these now!
    Cathy Sikorski recently posted…Who does this at your age?!?!?My Profile

  7. Lee Gaitan

    You are an amazing dynamo of a woman with such compassion for others. Your writing helps so many people find resources, comfort and support, but honestly, I think you enrich the world just by being in it as the lovely soul that you are! Sadness and change are so tough, but I know you’ll navigate these curves as you always do, with grace and humor. XOX, my friend.

  8. Susan Bonifant

    Cathy, sending you shamefully belated wishes for peace and healing. You are one of the gentlest, most caring people I’ve had the fortune to come across.

    Please try to let the “feels” happen the way they must, until your balance returns. The times you are describing are hell-like for a caring soul like yourself. But peace will return and you will be okay.XO

    Whatever you do, keep writing. Anything.
    Susan Bonifant recently posted…PSA: don’t do thisMy Profile

  9. Risa

    Cathy, I know what it feels like to get blindsided by life events. Balance is a tricky thing, made trickier when the ground shifts beneath our feet in ways we can’t control. I know why the hell you keep writing, and I think your friends and supporters do too. This is an impressive body of work–you’re doing all you can and then some. I say: You go, girl!

  10. Barbara

    Change is so hard, I know. I’ve moved so many times in my life I can’t keep count and the one takeaway I can share with you is, every move is an adventure full of opportunities for growth. Thinking of it that way may help you turn the sadness around and replace it with optimism. In any case, please don’t stop writing.

  11. Carolyn Prince

    Dear Cathy…as you know, we too are feeling the “plethora” of emotions that comes when you leave a place of comfort you have called “home” for many years. NOT necessarily fun or filled with JOY…..BUT (here it comes) whether you are in your 80’s , 20’s or anywhere in between, all wordage aside, shedding old skin is actually freeing. Prayers as you continue this journey we call “moving”. Love you so much. “Mom” P.

  12. Tamara Warner Minton

    Cathy, to continue your writing is a mitzvah. Everything you have to say has meaning to all sorts of people. I’m sorry you are leaving your home, but perhaps something wonderful is waiting! You deserve the very best.

  13. Cathy Lawdanski

    Love your writing, Cathy! Love the way you help and empower others through your gift. A move, even if you are excited about it is so exhausting and such hard work. Sorry this is a difficult transition for you. Blessings!

  14. Julia

    Oh Cathy, moving and leaving behind memories and spaces is so hard…but we don’t know what blessings will happen in new places. My husband really wanted to move 5 years ago. I thought he was crazy. I went along with it — what else could I do?! It truly was a blessing – and taught me lessons about things, about my identity, and what made me happy. I love your writing and the mission and focus you have. You are a wonderful leader and educator. Peace and blessings on you in this time of transition. <3

  15. Terri Webster Schrandt

    My dear Cathy, your voice cannot be stilled. Writing IS your lifeblood. Thank you for sharing all you do and all the help you provide others with your information and inspiration! Transitions and challenges just provide that much more fodder for your pen (or keyboard)! Blessings to you!

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