“At 23 years old my life took an abrupt turn. For 2 months, it was like a boot camp that I didn’t sign up for. Having intensive rehabilitation to learn to walk again after being paralyzed down one side of my body, and gain my independence back wasn’t what I envisaged. Most people my age were out socializing and going on adventures. But for me, my life turned upside down. All of sudden, I had to learn to live and navigate life with MS, and it was frustrating, scary, and unpredictable.
I truly feel that when you are dealt a big blow in life, you go through the 5 stages of grief and that I did. I cried, I screamed, I isolated myself and I got caught up in the turmoil of it all but finally, I told myself enough. I could either let this disease control me, OR I could take the reins and fight with every ounce of my being. I felt this glimmer of hope, so I called on my inner warrior and told myself this wasn’t how my story was going to end. This was just the beginning of a new chapter in my life, a new version of myself, a young girl who was incredibly determined and resilient to live my life to the fullest.
I learned it’s not selfish to make myself a priority and to put myself and wellbeing first. It’s essential to live well with MS. Over the years, I became determined to adapt my lifestyle around my limitations. I love keeping an active and healthy lifestyle and I didn’t want my MS to get it the way of that so I learned how to work around my limitations, and how to pace myself without burning myself out. I became a voice within the chronic illness community and became passionate about breaking the stigma around invisible illness because not all disabilities are visible!
I’ve been living with MS for 7 years now, and it’s still like a rollercoaster. I have good days and bad days, and on those bad days, I tell myself it’s okay to slow down and rest. I like to say that knowledge is power. The more I learn about MS, the better I can equip myself to learn how to live with my MS. MS has changed my outlook on life. It has made me realise that having a positive mindset is one of the most powerful things you can possess.
I tell myself and others, don’t let your MS dim your spark. You may have MS, but MS doesn’t have you.”