For this post, I’m linking up with one of my favorite writers Emily P. Freeman to share what I learned this summer. Emily, along with an amazing team, runs the online writing community Hope*Writers. Hope*Writers came into my life at just the right time.
For the past several years, I have enjoyed occasionally blogging but never made a big commitment to consistency. Throwing health issues into the mix left me without an ounce of energy left for producing creative content. Now, though, even though by the end of the day I am usually drained to my core, writing gives me a breath of fresh air. It seeps life into me – life that had been lost in this dark season of health decline and the unknown territory of it all.
This summer has pushed me to my limits. On some days, I felt like I could do this. I could do this whole being sick and going through treatment to get better thing. But, on other days…I just wanted to give up. As sad as it may be to admit, I have had many days where I have wondered if life is even worth it. I know it’s the neuro Lyme leading to my emotional distress, but when I’m at my weakest, I can’t make rational decisions.
I’d like to write a blog post telling you about how great I feel now that I have been on treatment for about two months. I’d like to tell you how happy I am and how I feel confident everyday. I’d like to tell you a lot of things.
But, the sad truth is that life is still pretty rough and it likely will be for a while.
Yes, I have had some good days interspersed amongst the bad, painful, horrendous days.
Those good days make me smile. When things are good, I have energy and I feel more like myself. It’s delightful!
But, the bad days still leave me hurting. They leave me questioning. They leave me suffering.
My prayer life has been changing since my health took a decline back in February. During some points of this health journey, I couldn’t pray. I didn’t feel like God was there. I could barely process a thought, let alone speak words in prayer.
Now, though, God has been meeting me. It’s amazing, actually. I always knew I could go to God during hard times and he would be there, but I had never been to a point of sheer desperation like this before. Now, I literally need God’s strength to get me through the day.
You’ve been sick for months, years even.
You were tested for this and that. Negative results. Positive results. Numbers too high or too low.
“Sometimes those elevated numbers don’t really mean anything,” the doctor says.
In Part 1 of What To Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis, I described being at my breaking point and feeling insecure as I struggled to figure out who I was.
God worked in my heart to show me that I didn’t need to have all the answers. As a child of God, my identity is rooted in who He is, not in what I do or what I like. Because I follow Christ, the insecurity knocking at my door can be defeated. Even when I’m struggling, God promises that I can cast all my anxiety on Him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).
I talk about following Christ, but what does this actually mean?
I remember the day fairly clearly despite the fact that I had been living in a continual state of fog for months.
“I don’t even know who I am anymore,” I said as I moved a stack of posters and made myself comfortable in the chair across from my coworker’s desk.
I had gone to her office for a quick work-related question, but then lingered. I was standing there chatting before deciding that if I was going to be there awhile, I had better take a seat before my legs gave out. I was at a breaking point and longed for someone to understand what I was going through.
Some days I wake up and I literally cannot get up.
My body won’t let me.
My legs feel heavy with a tingly sensation as if they’ve just fallen asleep after I’ve been seated for a while. My hands are tingly as well, but there’s more pain, like pins and needles.
I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus.
I roll over and want to get up. But, I just can’t. Shooting pain moves up my arms and into my chest.
Frustration builds before I intentionally stop my racing mind.
I’ll be okay, I think. This is just temporary. Let yourself rest.