We all wish we had that person when we were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
You know, the person who understood you – and what you were going through.
That person who had already been down this road and could give you real advice.
When I was diagnosed with MS, finding this person was as rare as a unicorn.
I never found that person.
But I also never forgot that feeling.
Well, I want to be that person for anyone diagnosed today.
And maybe even for the person who was diagnosed years ago, but still needs to hear this.
I may not know all the things that make you uniquely you, but I have found some guiding principles when it comes to MS.
I still remind myself of them daily… because I find them that helpful, and my hope is that you will too!
Getting Real Advice to Thriving with Multiple Sclerosis
When you are diagnosed with MS, you don’t know where to turn for advice… like REAL advice.
I’m not talking about medical advice that you can get from your doctor.
I’m talking about personal advice from someone who “gets it.”
I started with Google.
But, of course, EVERY search led to images of the worst case scenarios.
So I tried a local support group, but I just didn’t feel like I fit in.
Everyone there was so much worse off than me, I felt guilty for feeling anything but grateful. And I knew that I would eventually get to a place of gratitude, but I wasn’t there yet.
I tried online communities but many of them were doom and gloom.
I wanted someone that I could relate to, who wouldn’t judge me for the crazy thoughts that were running through my head and someone that could help to point me in the right direction to get my life back on track.
It must have been too high of an ask because I never found her.
And from talking with many of you – my fellow MS Sisters – I know you feel the same too.
So I started to think, knowing what I know now, what advice would I give to my newly Dx self?
3 Principles to Thriving with MS
Three things immediately came to mind so I wanted to share them with you today.
My hope is that they’ll resonate with you too.
Don’t Assume Anything
First, MS looks and feels different for each person.
It’s called the snowflake disease for good reason.
No two people have the same experience with it.
I love reminding myself that there are One Million people in the United States alone who are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
So you and I are One in a Million!
And our experience with MS is One in a Million.
Don’t assume anything about your future based on someone else’s experience.
You will have your own experience.
You can start thriving with multiple sclerosis.
And right now both conventional and functional medicine are advancing in their research with MS, so we have more options now than ever before to manage MS.
And just a side note about conventional vs functional medicine, you don’t have to feel pressured to pick one or the other.
If you want to throw everything at this disease, you can pick the best of both worlds.
There are no guarantees with either approach, so you have to decide what makes most sense for you.
And don’t tell yourself the lie that everyone has it figured out but you.
We’re all figuring this out as we’re living it out.
And whatever you decide, you don’t need to share that with anyone else. Your medical decisions are yours and yours alone.
But know that there’s SO much that you can do to achieve your best-case scenario.
So write this principle on a post-in note and say it until it sinks in and you believe it… “Don’t assume anything about your future based on someone else’s experience.”
The fact that you’re listening to this podcast tells me that you’re someone who wants to be proactive with healing, so that in and of itself sets you apart.
“Don’t assume anything about your future based on someone else’s experience.”
Erase all of the images of those worst case scenarios out of your mind.
Start envisioning your BEST case scenario.
And take one step – just one step – each today towards reclaiming your body, mind and life from MS.
Choose to Make Your Diagnosis a New Beginning
Next thing I would have told my newly diagnosed self…
Yes, it’s true there is no cure for MS.
Food will not cure you.
However, food can help you to feel better in your body.
And personally that’s what I’m after most in this life.
I want to know that I have the energy to keep up as a mom of a toddler. That is what it means to me to be thriving with multiple sclerosis.
I want food to help me eliminate fatigue, brain fog and pain.
And it has.
Food has helped me to actually feel better now than before my diagnosis, which I know, it’s crazy to say, but it’s true.
Just because it’s not a cure, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.
I truly believe that it’s helped me to remain stable all these years and I pray that it continues to do so for decades to come.
With food you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Choose to make your diagnosis a new beginning to a healthier lifestyle.
And just in case you’re wondering, you don’t need to do a complete overhaul all at once, to get results.
That’s one option and will likely get you results fastest, but if it’s not sustainable, it doesn’t matter.
You can start with something as simple as adding one more serving of veggies to your dinner plate.
I have plenty of tips in store for you on this podcast, but always remember, focus on progress over perfection.
By the way, If you’re looking to jumpstart your healing with smoothies that are both delicious and healing – join my 5-Day Smoothie Challenge.
Create a Mindset of Possibilities, Not Limitations
Now that we’ve touched on food, I need to share with you this last bit of advice – and I have to remind myself of it daily too!
What we feed our mind is just as important to what we feed our body.
The thoughts and story that you’re telling yourself right now and the meaning that you’re giving to your diagnosis matters.
It comes down to this – your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings influence your behavior.
If you draw inaccurate conclusions about who you are and what you’re capable of doing, you’ll limit your potential.
I love the quote by Kelly Lee Phipps “If you argue for your limitations you get to keep them. But if you argue for your possibilities you get to create them!”
I’m not talking about “thinking your way of your MS diagnosis.”
But I am talking about guarding your mind – and interrupting the thoughts that bring you down and hold you back.
So the third principle to thriving with multiple sclerosis is this… Guard your thoughts; they shape your reality. Create a mindset of possibilities, not limitations.
MY MS Anthem to Thriving with Multiple Sclerosis
And if you need a little help here, I created an anthem just for you! Download your free copy today.
Print it and say it daily.
It’s the Anthem of our MS Sisterhood to remind us that everyday is a new opportunity to reclaim our body, mind and life from MS.
We are in this together!