My Story - MS Healing & PositiviDee
Being challenged with Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years has taught me that I am more resilient than I thought. I have learned how to unconditionally love myself and make peace with my circumstances.
However, I did not always feel this way. Before I was diagnosed, the day before my 22nd birthday, I was an over-achieving, stressed-out perfectionist. I was inflexible, unforgiving, and full of self-doubt. As a control freak who always knew best, I was unwilling to take advice from others. They told me to slow down, breathe, and take it easy on more than one occasion. But in my mind, I was on a mission to “Fit In” and be the best I could be. Undenounced to me, I was harboring all kinds of negative emotions like guilt, resentment, and shame.
And they were holding me back.
Although MS stopped me in my tracks, I was grateful to have a 2nd chance at life. Being forced to slow down gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective. As I started adjusting to life with this disease and making modifications, I realized that I felt more empowered. Just because I was physically challenged did not mean I could no longer participate in things. On the contrary, I had inner strength like none other.
And I was not about to let MS hold my mind and my spirit captive.
Don’t get me wrong; this did not happen overnight. Every day I was challenged with negative thoughts and emotions. There were moments I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster ride. And other moments I felt like I was fighting a war within. My inner critic would be beating me down and my inner spirit would be building me up. It was not always easy, but I found a way to approach life with ease and grace.
By redefining old situations in new ways, I set myself free.
First, I looked up all kinds of words in the dictionary starting with the letter “M” and “S.” And after reviewing 2 full pages of words, I chose a combination that fit my feisty personality. Redefining MS as Motivational Spitfire gave me a sense of power and purpose. I regained some pep in my step. By making this one little shift in my thinking, it set me free from my own insecurities.
Second, I redefined myself as “A Work in Progress.” It was liberating. I was able to let go of the pressure of being an overachieving, stressed-out perfectionist and be authentically me. No more comparing myself to others and trying to keep up with everybody else. I realized it was more fun and fulfilling to be present than perfect.
Third, I redefined my mobility devices as “a little help from my friends.” I named my wheelchair “Proud Mary” and a friend of mine came up with the name “D.I.V.A.” for my walker. She said it stood for “Dee is Independent, Vivacious, and Authentic.” By changing my thought process, these devices became empowering. Instead of being ashamed to be seen with them, I was thrilled and overjoyed to get out and about. Proud Mary and D.I.V.A. have inspired me and so many others to look beyond physical appearances and appreciate the true essence within.
By shifting my thinking and redefining my circumstances, I have regained energy and risen above the labels and limitations of MS. I am not going to let society, doctors, a diagnosis of MS, or any other circumstances define me. I have realized that we were never meant to fit-in and be ordinary.
We were born to stand out and be extraordinary.
I truly believe that MS is not anyone’s destiny. It is just a huge wake-up call to be consciously aware of our thoughts, words, and actions so we can take our power back and live life to the fullest. You may not get to choose the challenges you are faced with in life, but you do get to choose how you deal with them.
After 52 years of life and 30 years navigating MS, I have found inner peace by redefining outer circumstances.
I am grateful for being diagnosed with this disease because it has offered me the opportunity to learn more, love deeper, and accept myself for who I am. It has also given me a platform to share encouragement, guidance, and support to others struggling with similar circumstances.
I invite you to experience more loving perspectives and PositiviDee by investing in my book.
"Your Daily Dose of PositiviDee" is filled with insights and inspiration to raise your vibrations.
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