Jamie-Lynn Sigler was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at 20 years old and revealed her illness in January 2016.
Though there is no cure for her disease, which damages the central nervous system, Sigler, 37, has found solutions for herself with meditation and self-reflection.
“I am done being that ‘sick girl’ that I’ve been for so long. I do know who I am without being sick because I wasn’t sick my whole life and when I meditate I know who I am,” she says on the DENtalks Podcast.
But it wasn’t always easy for her to deal with MS.
“It’s so nice to hear that I come across as such a positive person. I think the reason is because it’s not because I’m positive all the time,” she says. “I struggled with a lot of things and I can’t think of a time in my life where I wasn’t struggling with something.”
“With my MS, the one thing that it’s given me, which I’m trying to focus more on what it’s given me as opposed to what it’s taken away, is it’s led me on this spiritual path that I really don’t think I would have gone down,” she says of being stronger mentally and emotionally.
“It was really just an opportunity for me to look within. Because when you feel like your body’s kind of betraying you and you’re losing control despite your best efforts, like the only way to find any sort of strength is just like within and I still work on it,” Sigler says.
In addition to how she continues to overcome her illness, Sigler opens up about being a mother to sons Jack Adam, 5 months, and Beau Kyle, 4½.
“I always struggle with making the right decision and I think it’s more about just making a decision with conviction and trusting,” she says. “But you know what’s funny is with motherhood, the first thing really in my life, where at least in a long time, where I’m just super, I’m super confident in my abilities as being a mom.”
In April, Sigler was candid about how MS affected her breastfeeding.
“I’m having to stop breastfeeding soon so I can get back on meds,” she wrote on Instagram. “The truth is, the toll of two kids and a newborn lifestyle is not the easiest on me … and I need some help.”
She added, “What sucks is that I live with a disease that makes decisions for me a lot, and with breastfeeding I took SUCH pride that I was able to do something really awesome with this body that I am constantly at war with.”
Sigler’s DENtalks Podcast will be available Tuesday on iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play Music and Stitcher.