The story of our lives could break us, but then there is a willing decision to rewrite this story that could remake us…
If someone told you to write the story of your life, what would you write? The story below is about an inspiration, a mother, a hero who didn’t give up on her dreams to love and to live her desired life because someone else told her otherwise. What does it mean to live I think often, and are we living our life or someone else’s version of how to live? This remains a mystery for me. Then I come across inspirational stories like my friend Ditya, who only choose to live the life she was meant to live, despite it being a hard one.
On March 23rd 2015, Ditya was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, MS. Her whole life seemed to just vanish into a vacuum of dark silence. I often imagine Ditya and many others feel this way after such a news, where it’s like you awaken one day to find you’ve lost everything you’ve work so hard to achieve in a split second, including yourself. So, I’ve decided to write Ditya’s story with the thought of how we face such incidents in life; how did Ditya face it? How devastating this was to Ditya cannot be understated, because she had not lived an easy life by any means as it was. So, this news of her illness was beyond heartbreaking, it was physically numbing at this point in her life.
Twelve Years Ago
Times were not always bad, just twelve years ago, Ditya was an accomplished nurse in Nepal. She was a very intelligent woman. A woman, who having even grown up in a male dominated society, was not afraid to follow her passions. Through all the discouraging words that could have impacted her from achieving her dreams, she kept forging forward to become the woman she wanted to be in her life.
In 2003, Ditya met a man named Batsa. They fell in love with each other quickly. He promised Ditya to share with her the life she always wanted to live and to make her the happiest woman on the earth. They got married in Nepal and within months, they moved to the United States, where Batsa was living and settled down in Arizona.
I wish I could write here that they forged a life together, and grew stronger together; but sadly, this was not to be the case.
Within a short period of time, Ditya’s dream life with Batsa, became her worst nightmare, because she realized he was not the person she imagined he would be. In fact, he became unrecognizable to Ditya as she began to understand the demons that drove Batsa’s behavior towards her. He was verbally abusive at first, which quickly it turned into physical abuse. The marriage became quickly unbearable to Ditya as Batsa’s violence grew to the point where he beat her senselessly every day and every night. He was possessive and controlling, discouraging her from learning anything new and building any kind of life or identity of her own in a new country. Even when she wanted to learn English and to work toward becoming a nurse in the United States, Batsa wouldn’t allow it. What was even worse was that during her pregnancy, Batsa was cruel enough to put her down verbally and blamed her for everything that was wrong in his life.
Finally, after the birth of her second child, she asked for a divorce. Even though Batsa did not care about losing Ditya or his children, he was vindictive and vain. He knew that Ditya’s only hope and treasure was her children, so out of spite, he kidnapped the children and fled with them to Nepal without signing the divorce documents. Ditya’s world was destroyed at this point, because she knew that she had no chance in getting back her children. She couldn’t go back to Nepal to bring her children to live with her, because she was in the process of getting her citizenship and her going back would put her in the position of not being able to come back to the United States. So, she made an incredibly difficult decision, she decided to stay in the U.S. and to continue her education for the sole purpose of achieving a dream. That ultimate dream was to bring her children back to the United States once she got her nurse residency and citizenship so she could provide a good life for them.
Ditya started to work day and night toward this vision. She was determined and headstrong on achieving this. Finally, after many years of hard work, Ditya got her nurse residency and found a lawyer to help her with all the paperwork for her children to come back to the United States. Then finally, the immigration visa for her children arrived and she would finally be reunited with her children. She was relieved and elated at the same time and was thinking even though her quality of life during these 6 years were dreadful, what kept her going was the thought that she wanted to be with her kids and not let them down. She felt that this push made her mentally and physically to be a stronger woman.
In the few months before her children arrived, Ditya decided to visit a doctor for a health check-up. She had recently been experiencing partially impaired coordination and deep fatigue within her body. She thought it was all because of her lack of rest and excessive stress, and wanted to consult the doctor to understand better how to deal with this. However, after meeting with the doctor and undergoing tests, the news was far worse. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and what seemed like a routine check-up turned into a complete shock to her life. The timing couldn’t have been worse because her children were arriving in 8 months.
After Ditya’s diagnosis, she felt pain in every organ of her body. However, what bothered her the most was mainly a tightness in her heart when she thought of how this would affect her children. She cried inside and whispered to herself, “Does this mean that I can never play with my children again and provide a good life for them?” While the tightness in her heart amplified with a feeling of deep despair, she exploded with an anger and rage:
“Why me!? Haven’t I been through enough difficult times, now I have to face this tragedy?”
“What about my children … I can lose them again.”
Ditya lived with the news of her diagnosis for the next month, she was still in disbelief of her current health ailment. She kept looking back at her life and all she could feel was suffering and pain. If it wasn’t for her children, she would have already put an end to her life that seemed to have been filled with misery. Once again, she had to get back on her feet. So, she made a firm decision that she was not going to let her current condition control her present and future state of mind and wellbeing.
I know both Dityas, the friend in despair and the friend who fights through despair. I find myself loving both these women, but the one I learn from is the latter and I want to share this person with the world now.
Ditya became stronger when many would have become weaker. She took responsibility for her condition by coming to an understanding that this situation she found herself in was because she never properly took care of her health. She believed being diagnosed with MS was a way for her body to communicate to her that she needed to slow down and change her current way of living.
Ditya’s decision to change and the next steps toward this change empowers me, brings me to a place of joy and I hope it does for you as well. Because in understanding Ditya’s life, I fear not challenges, but rather an idea we can be frozen or dormant in the face of adversity. Here, within the spectrum of inaction and action lies the large lesson Ditya is teaching the world in a series of life steps she took.
One of the many major first steps Ditya took toward building a new life was changing her home and the city she was living in, because she didn’t want to renew any memories of her past. She moved away from Arizona to Orange County, California. She built a new environment to live in by renting a nice condo and changing her job.
By changing her environment, she was able to control her present thoughts and emotions to not associate with her past hardships. She was on her way to creating a spontaneous life full of new possibilities.
Moreover, in order for Ditya to start living a new life, she had to mentally begin to let go of her past, because she had so much built up rage and anger toward life, that all she was creating was more of the same hatred and fury in the present.
So, Ditya added to her daily routine a meditation practice.
For 45 minutes every day, Ditya cleared her thoughts through closing her eyes and letting her body and breathe speak to her. Those 45 minutes were a time she dedicated to sitting down and doing nothing but simply being an observer of her ideal future in a present state of mind. Here, she would imagine and feel her body getting stronger and stronger. Slowly, she started to believe in a better future that she couldn’t yet see or experience with her senses; but since she thought about it enough times through a meditative state of mind, her brain actually began to morph and to feel the experiences she had been only visualizing up to that point. Miraculously, she could feel that her brain was no longer a record of her past, but rather became a map to a future full of possibilities.
After these series of change, Ditya took bolder steps.
Ditya realized that in order to maximize a physical and mental transformation, she had to turn these changes into a lifestyle.
She made a bold decision by refusing to take medications, being a nurse, she was well aware of the symptoms and consequences of not taking her medications, but she was certain that she could change her condition. Furthermore, she took drastic steps by adopting a carefully planned new diet where all she consumed was raw and live foods. She would soak and sprout grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, while eating all other fruits and vegetables. Also, with new research studies showing how sesame oil helped to protect mice from developing autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Ditya make sure to include sesame seed, sesame paste and sesame oil in her daily diet.
She also began to practice yoga to train her mind and body to focus and overcome balancing poses that everyone told her she couldn’t do due to her illness. At first, keeping her balance during the class was extremely challenging for her, but Ditya’s determination to overcome MS helped her to keep going.
In 2015, Ditya was finally reunited with her children and it coincided with her MS starting to show signs of improvement. This progressive improvement in her health continued gradually till Ditya was completely MS free! The doctors were in disbelieve that they could not find any trace of MS. Let’s not question the coincidence of her actions coinciding with her recovery, and let’s remove the lens of disbelief and see how our body and mind can overcome anything, if we listen to it and nurture fully.
Stories like Ditya are inspiring to many, especially those who are going through a similar life crisis and don’t know how to keep on going without breaking. I encourage we build our own stories, after hearing this one, as a story of empowerment, courageousness, fearlessness and a story of belief. Ditya changed her story from being a victim, to a story where taking charge of her life through belief and self-discipline was her new paradigm.
Ditya’s story is not a miracle, it’s the result of an individual’s hard work toward changing her state of being, where she did not let any disempowering beliefs penetrate her mind to disable her from taking action. We are also capable of making shifts in our lives, where our body and mind are no longer a record of the past, but a tool to imagine a field of new possibilities and to create a map to a better future.