Embracing multiple sclerosis with fearlessness and transparency
As an entrepreneur, transformational health coach, community activist, fitness competitor, author, and PhD student of Naturopathic Medicine, this supermom of 5 was used to doing it all. However, an unexpected diagnosis shifted her perspective on life.
In February of 2018, I was admitted to the hospital after a series of spasms, lack of coordination, fatigue, and headaches. Considering that I was very active and a clean eater, the sudden onset of these symptoms was strange. Several tests and an MRI later, doctors found eight lesions on my brain and officially diagnosed me with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (or RRMS). RRMS is the most common form of this invisible illness and autoimmune disease. The news of my diagnosis was completely devastating – it was not the answer I expected. Even now, it’s still very difficult to accept, despite it being in remittance.
I have a lot of hard days, and some seasons are worse than others – but I am not defeated. I refuse to give up. I want my children to see that illness doesn’t have to stop you. I know that I have a greater purpose and believe that I have a lot more life left to live. Sometimes, what you are going through isn’t just for you – it’s to help motivate and uplift others.
For me, my children keep me going. Although RRMS caused a pivotal shift in my life, I don’t dwell on my illness. Instead, I’ve learned to listen to my body. When we listen to our bodies more, we can give ourselves the care and attention we need. I’m very big on self-care – I meditate, rest, and am now embarking on a plant-based lifestyle. At 34 years old, I’ve felt better on this journey now than I have felt at any other point in my life.
My husband and I are still young, with a lot of goals and ambitions. Nothing is greater to me than my children and the responsibility that I have to them. My greatest joy is helping them find their purpose by nurturing their gifts and positioning them to have the best experience possible. We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams. My son will see the strength of a black woman. And my four little girls will grow into four strong black women. I can’t let them think that an illness can stop them. I have to keep going for them, so they’ll see that they can do it all – just like their mom.
When it comes to our health, I don’t think we should count fear out as something negative. My RRMS diagnosis was a part of my journey that I had not planned. Being in control of my life was important to me. However, learning to let things go has been one of most important lessons I’ve learned. By having faith and loving on my family even more, I’ve realized just how precious time is. I decided to embrace my fear and let go of things that I could not control. That’s when I became fearless.
I’ve been preparing myself emotionally for the difficult times ahead. I know that I have a disease, but it doesn’t have to be the end. I don’t walk in fear when it comes to my diagnosis. Instead, I take the unknown and realize the good in it. I keep myself aware of how I’m feeling and make daily adjustments to my lifestyle to better my health. I’ve learned to say no to stress and yes to help. RRMS changed my body – I was used to being strong and doing things on my own. But now, I successfully manage my disease and don’t put as much on my plate. Saying no, accepting help, and caring for my mental and spiritual health have allowed me to keep my physical health in order. Competing in strength competitions and working out three times a week has helped me feel ownership over my body again.
I will continue to be here for as long as I can – as a mother, wife, motivator, and educator. My experience with RRMS has opened up space for me to feel more empowered to educate and be more transparent. I feel better and practice mindfulness to feel calm within this fast-paced world that we live in. I’ve tapped back into my natural-given talents and share more of myself through my writing. I wrote my first book in 2017 titled “Raising Queens”, which examines how to position our daughters for greatness by maximizing their potential. I am currently writing a TV series.
I still love life and I don’t ever see that changing. And I don’t know all there is to know about RRMS. But I do know that if there is a platform to uplift and educate others, then that is what I will continue to do.
You can learn more about Kit’s book and advocacy work at www.lovecoachkit.com and connect with her on Facebook @lovecoachkit.