The Power of Positivity in Facing My Multiple Sclerosis
Positivity is hands down what I credit to tackling multiple sclerosis (MS) head-on. It’s been my saving grace and I hope this post inspires you in times of need, too.
Since I was a child, my mom has always said to me, “Thoughts become things — pick the good ones.” Whether I was tackling a problem at school or going on a job interview, she would tell me to visualize what the result would be and say out loud what I wanted to have happen (if even to myself). “They’re going to hire me,” I would say with conviction, and soon enough this type of exercise became routine.
What I learned much later was that having a positive, optimistic attitude was powerful. Far more powerful than I even realized. It may not have been the direct cause behind finding a solution or getting a job, but it helped build confidence and gave me the strength to fight for what I wanted and to go after it. It allowed me to believe what I was striving for was possible and I was capable of making it happen.
When I was diagnosed with MS in January of 2015, I decided to tackle the disease in the same vein. It would not win; I would take control and determine my destiny by simply telling myself the result. I wouldn’t let it ruin the life I loved or my hopes and dreams for my future. Instead, my attitude would guide my steps forward and I would develop an action plan to fight MS to the best of my ability with my head held high.
Believing you’ll be OK is half the battle, but I know firsthand it’s not easy to get to that place. I know this because initially, I faked it. Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I pledged I would tackle MS and not let it win. In fact, I didn’t just say it quietly behind closed doors; I said it publicly to everyone I knew – before I even believed it. By putting it out there, I was setting up my own fate just like my mom had told me to do. I was choosing my destiny, and because I made it so public, I knew I would have everyone holding me accountable.
There’s a reason for the phrase “Mom knows best” – it’s true, they do. If it weren’t for my mom and what she taught me about positivity, I don’t know if I would have tackled this head-on. But, because of my attitude and determination, I’ve had the ability to move forward and face this disease. I’ve even decided to help other people as a result of it. And you know what? It took me a little while, but eventually my heart caught up with my head and now I do believe I will continue to be able to live an active and full life without MS bringing me down.
Words are powerful and I can’t stress that enough. Even when you feel weak or defeated, saying you’re going to make it through is the first step towards that happening. And remember: thoughts become things — so pick the good ones.
This post originally appeared on Well and Strong With MS.
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