What Has Lyme Taught Me?
It may seem very strange reading a blog post about how Lyme Disease has taught a person something. But in the end, here I am typing away realizing that I have learned a lot over the years from being chronically and invisibly sick. So often I have asked why am I so sick? What's the purpose of all this suffering? Enough already! Well I'm not perfectly healthy at 100% its more like 70%. But I can say looking back I've come a long way baby! I currently homeschool my 8 year old son full time, run a house, deal with a woodstove, and try to have a basic social life. I am super grateful for all the online support and local support we have now. I look around these days and realize I can start to let into my life some really nice people. I don't have to hide being sick and at the same time I don't need to focus or talk about being sick all the time. I'm starting to find that balance. I want more now from my friendships and I know now that I deserve it. I'm sure I will have other valley's in my life to learn from I'm sure but for now I will take a break and rest a bit right here :) So here's my up to date list of what Lyme has taught me.
1. I worth someone's time, energy, love, and attention.
2. People can't give what they don't have.
3. I'm not the only one suffering. If I am breathing today there is someone out there who is not. So I should be grateful for at least that much. There is always someone out there who has it worse than I do. So its called perspective.
4. I am the captain of my own ship and I will determine my own destiny. Lyme Disease, circumstances and people don't get a say in it.
5. I own who I am and where I am going.
6. My instincts and gut's are usually right. So I have stopped doubting them and I listen.
7. Just because someone in Authority says so doesn't mean its true. Research, research, research, and then I am coming up with some of my own conclusions.
8. I'm not perfect and I need days to be imperfect and let go and be okay with that.
9. I need to be my own best advocate and then in turn I can be a good advocate for those around me.
10. Finding ones purpose matters when the fog has lifted.
11. I can use my passions in life like photography to help others and that's powerful.
12. My voice has power.
13. Find ways to give myself breaks as much as possible. Even Spiderman needs breaks to recharge.
14. I'm just me and that's not so bad.
15. Pace yourself the laundry can wait.
16. If my son and I are alive but the house is a mess that was a good day.
17. Relationships matter more than things.
18. Try new things its help you to feel alive.
19. Do the best you can, how you can, when you can.
20. When you start to compare Journey's, you not only devalue your journey but someone else's. Value your journey and value others just as they are.
21. If you can Network Network Network. It takes a village to help a Lymie get better. You cannot do this by yourself. At the same time listen to your gut if someone seems untrustworthy stay away from them. Its better to be alone for a time than to be taken advantage of.
22. Stop Fixing other people, its not your life to fix and save your energy to love and heal your own self.
23. Offering support is the only thing I can do.
24. Don't forget to let a good thing into your heart. If a Lymie friend says "you look great today". Say "thank you". Each tiny bit of goodness saved up helps you get through the days when no one is around and you are alone with your dark thoughts.
25. If you are angry, full of rage, can't stand the world, and have depression and anxiety, its not just the Lyme and Co-infections talking. Ask yourself these questions: Why are you angry? Did someone hurt your feelings? Are you stuffing the pain of rejection by others? Are you lonely? Do you need a break from Lymie land?
26. Listen to your answers and see if you are able to get to the root of your internal pain in your heart and soul. You maybe be able to find a solution and you may not. But at least you listened to yourself and gave yourself a voice. Be your own best friend. Then when you can get a listening ear ask if you can Vent Away! Sometimes blogging, poetry, a hot bath, listening to calming music can help calm the mind and body enough to hear the response of our hearts as to what we need to get through the day or week. So start listening to yourself and be honest. Your needs matter.
27. When you put your needs and health above other friendships and relationships people may not like that at all especially if you were the giver in the relationship. Since Lyme Disease turns us into Takers for a time make sure you can be as clear as possible about what you can give and NOT give. People may not like what you have to say you are changing the boundaries of the relationship. But the few mature ones will stay for the long haul.
28. While you are super crazy sick you will not be able to get your self esteem from what you can do. You will have to find it in other places. If you can make a small step in your health celebrate it! Its a great way to build your self esteem and hope and faith.
29. Don't be shy to ask for help. Just be careful Who you ask for help.
30. Everyone has a battle they are in everyday. You just might not know about it. So don't assume someone can help when you want them too.
31. Be okay with someone else's No.
32. As best you can find ways to live outside Lymie Land. At my sickest photography was the thing that let me feel alive and normal. Making cards for others made me feel like I was able to do something productive and it helped put a smile on someone else's face.
33. Its okay if you cannot give to anyone else right now but also be open to the times you can give the very support and love back to others that you were given.
34. If you get better and choose not to be involved with the Lymie community or choose to help out. Either choice is okay. You are not less or more of a person either way.