You have Lyme Disease, huh?
I’m so sorry!
Lyme Disease is rough, and facing it can often leave us questioning everything we thought we knew about health and ourselves. Some days we may have moments where we feel relatively “normal” before we’re spun into a place of pain, neurological symptoms, and grief.
For me, personally, most days are pretty rough. Since my diagnosis, I have seen some better days, but they are always followed deep valleys. Treatment may be working, but when you add in Herxheimer (die-off) reactions and flares, healing doesn’t seem to come as quickly as I would have hoped.
Each day is a battle of both the body and the mind. In order to help myself heal effectively, I have to remember a few things. If you’re also fighting Lyme Disease and co-infections, these simple reminders may make a difference for your outlook.
Back in November there was a workshop for Hope*Writers. In the summer when I got the information about the workshop, I was in such a poor health and financial situation that I knew it wasn’t going to be feasible to go this time around.
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to meet my writer friends in real life was a hard pill to swallow, but when I made the decision to instead purchase the online pass to watch the conference recordings I knew it was the right choice.
Fast forward a few months to the weekend of the conference. As I laid in bed in pain on the days my writer friends were meeting each other and delving into teaching that would spur them on in their callings, I was jealous.
I was frustrated and angry that a party was going on and I was stuck at home watching it from afar in a highlight reel on social media. It was another situation where I was invited, but I couldn’t go. This seems to be a common occurrence in my chronically ill life. If you have a chronic illness, you can probably relate!
As I scrolled through Instagram and Facebook on the days of the Hope*Writers Workshop, I grew discontent with my current life situation. I was tired of being sick. I didn’t want to miss out on fun and on learning the skills I needed to continue in my calling to write. Sure, I would eventually watch the conference recordings, but it wouldn’t be the same as being there in person. There’s energy and excitement that comes from connecting in person that can’t be replicated through online avenues.
Suffering from a chronic illness is hard!
Throughout my journey with chronic Lyme Disease, I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing chronic illness warriors. The people I have met may have different backgrounds and experiences, but there is an underlying thread that binds them together.
Those with chronic illnesses often share that they feel misunderstood by the people around them.
Even those with strong support systems may feel like the healthy people in their lives just can’t quite comprehend the pain they experience.
Being unable to relate to our friends and families can leave us feeling discouraged and misunderstood.
For anyone out there who cares about someone with a chronic illness, I want to let you in on what I truly feel can make all the difference in being able to better support the chronically ill.
It’s 2017, friends!
Can you believe it?
Back in June, when my health was the worst it has ever been, I couldn’t see past the day in front of me. I didn’t know if I would make it to the next day, let alone push through to the end of the year.
Now that we’re finally to January, I can look back and see some of the ways God has worked in my life over the past year to bring me to a better place on this chronic illness journey. I’ve recognized that there is hope!
Over the past few days I’ve worked on setting some goals (Read this post if you’d like tips for goal-setting with a chronic illness!) and have been thinking about what it means to live intentionally even when I can’t control how I’ll feel.
All around the internet, I see bloggers posting their lists of goals and resolutions or sharing their one word for 2017 that sums up their heart’s desire. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy hearing what others are planning or learning through the process of goal-setting. It can be inspiring to think about what could be.
But, those of us with chronic illnesses may feel discouraged because we think we can’t live up to a healthy person’s goals. After all, it might be a struggle for us to just get through the day.
As I think about being intentional in 2017, I am also choosing to be realistic and to give myself grace.