health, lyme disease

A Letter to My Lyme

May is Lyme Disease Awareness month!

 
I’ve only been diagnosed for about 7 months, but this disease has been affecting me since I was 10 (that’s almost 10 years, for those who don’t want to do the math 😉 ). All month, I have been posting facts about Lyme Disease, most of which are sad, scary, and kinda discouraging (not my intention). I’ve been doing this to spread awareness and to help others have the knowledge so that they can take precautions, and also get diagnosed and treated faster.
 
But I also wanted to share why I can be thankful for Lyme Disease, and that it’s part of my story (but only a part 😉 ). So here is…
 

A Letter to My Lyme Disease

 
Dear Lyme Disease,
You are my shadow. You’re with me all the time, even when people can’t see you. You’ve changed my life drastically, but not in a fun or nice way.
 
But you didn’t come alone— no, you invited all of your friends: Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Mold Toxin Illness, some chronic viruses, Celiac Disease, and the loudest resident, PAIN. Oh, and you gave a microphone to my already present Dysautonomia. And those are just the friends I’ve met so far!
 
You like to have alllll the attention. You have some pretty annoying and distressing qualities. You like to jump in and take all my opportunities. You dress up like other diseases and syndromes so it’s hard to figure out who you really are. You like to hide when I’m trying to make the guests leave. You take over my home (body) and make me work for you. You don’t clean up after yourself or live peacefully with me and my body. You’re sneaky and chaotic and mean, and you weren’t invited to come, nor were you asked to stay. That was pretty rude, very unexpected, & extremely unappreciated. 
 

But. 


I have learned from the things you’ve brought into my life. Without you, I never would’ve known much of anything about, well… you!

– I never would’ve known that thousands upon thousands of people live with you every day.
– I never would’ve known or understood the reality of living with chronic illness.
– I never would’ve known or understood the reality of living with debilitating pain (and other hard to bear symptoms).
– I never would’ve known how strong our bodies truly are.
– I never would’ve known how hard our bodies are always working to take care of us!
– I never would’ve known that our bodies need to be taken care of, and so do our minds.
– I never would’ve come across the ability to see our skin as an organ that absorbs, just as much as it’s a barrier that protects.
– I never would’ve known how much our world views “busy” as an achievement, and “success” as equal to “worthy”.
– I never would’ve known that it really matters what you put in AND on your body.
– I never would’ve known how truly connected our bodies and minds and hearts and souls are.
 

AND…


– I have gained more empathy, grace, & understanding. 
– I have learned that it’s ok to slow down and live a not-busy life, and maybe that’s even what God wanted in the first place.
– I have gained an even deeper love and appreciation for art and creating.
– I have learned to see the little things as gifts, such as the ability to drink water, eat, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, etc.
– I have learned to be thankful when I can do even a small amount of something I love, and not take it for granted.
– I have learned that we humans judge way too much, and we really shouldn’t be judging because we truly have no idea what a person is going through.
– I have gained a wealth of knowledge about health & wellness, disease & medications/ supplements, western & eastern medicine, and doctors & healers.
– I have learned that “healed” doesn’t have to mean physically.
– I have learned that we are much, much stronger than we can imagine, and so are our bodies.
– I have learned that when God doesn’t answer prayers like we think He should, it doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything.
– I have learned that even though everything has a purpose, not everything is a determination of God being good or not. 
– I have learned how to use faith that feels non-existent.
– I have learned that I still don’t know why this is my story, but I think I’m thankful for it, and I can’t wait to find out why it is.
 
So, Lyme, even though you have taken away the life I thought I was destined for— and quite frankly, most of the LIFE in my life— because of you (and by God’s grace) I have learned (and am still learning!) that God is not surprised by any of this— He knew this would be my story—  and I was made for such a time as this.
 
Whether you are my shadow for a few more days, a few years, or for the rest of my life, I am still me. I am whole. And, whether I am “healed” in the world’s eyes or not, I still have a purpose. And I am being healed where it counts.
 
So, I am thankful for my Lyme Disease. I would never have chosen to go through it. I would not choose to do it again. I would never wish this on ANYONE. But, I am thankful for where it has brought me & who it has helped shape me to be. I’m also thankful for the way it has shaped my future, and I’m excited to see where that leads. 
 

Happy Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

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