Let’s face it. Life with a chronic illness can be hard. Very hard.
The ups and downs of symptoms can be overwhelming.
While the pain and fatigue are difficult to deal with, I usually find that symptoms of depression and anxiety affect me the most.
Over the years of dealing with depression and anxiety, I’ve come to find some useful tools that help me boost my mood when I’m feeling low. These things are not cures (I’m not a doctor and can’t give treatment plans or cures anyway!), but they are resources to help you feel a little better on your journey of treating chronic illness.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming!
I know that people always comment on how fast the holidays get here after the year prior, so I wanted to write a post to provide some resources for navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness. This way you can be prepared as you move into the holiday season!
Last year, I experienced my first Thanksgiving and Christmas post-diagnosis. Symptoms had come and gone for years prior to diagnosis (and I can actually remember multiple Christmases of not feeling well), but last year was the first time things were debilitating enough to change the way I participated in festivities.
When I started thinking about the holidays, I honestly felt sadder than I did when thinking about my daily way of life. My treatment protocol was intense, but adding dietary restrictions, depression, and low energy levels to the mix caused uncertainty about participating in anything.
While there were certainly some low points for me during the months of November and December of last year, I learned some things about navigating the holidays when you have a chronic illness.
A crisis strikes.
Hope appears lost.
There is pain, discouragement, and feelings of uncertainty.
You’re not sure what to do.
Life with a chronic illness is full of ups and downs. At certain points, the ups don’t reach very high and the downs seem to go deeper than you ever imagined.
Things are hard. There’s no denying that.
But what happens next will determine the the character of your life.
Do you ever wish you could take back something you said?
Do you think about what would have happened had you done something differently?
Do you hold onto regrets?
Holding onto the regrets of my past keeps my mind in a place of frustration. It keeps thoughts swirling and then spiraling until I convince myself that everything in life is horrible. I know it’s not, but when you combine the neurological symptoms of Lyme Disease and co-infections with normal insecurities that people face, I can quickly get into a place of deep, deep melancholy. This kind of mentality isn’t healthy.
When I hold onto things I did wrong and think about ways I didn’t “measure up,” I miss out on the present. Not only that, but negative feelings regarding my past keep me from embracing the woman God created me to be.
Throughout my time of living with chronic illness (pre and post diagnosis), I have made a lot of mistakes. I’ve said and done things that were not kind. I became the needy person I never imagined I would be. I tried to control in whatever ways I could because nearly everything in my life was falling apart.
The whole process of starting Lyme Disease treatment is overwhelming! Information can be conflicting, leaving you unable to figure out what will actually help as you work toward stability.
Lyme Disease is a complex condition. There’s usually a lot more than just Lyme going on in your body if you’re experiencing a whole list of symptoms.
(Before we go any further, I want to make the disclaimer that I am not a medical professional and am unable to diagnose, prescribe a treatment plan, or give medical advice. All information here is informational and is from my experience in treating Lyme Disease.)
Throughout the process of treating Chronic Lyme Disease, I’ve learned a bit about the things I should and shouldn’t do during treatment.
I wrote this blog post to tell you a little bit about the things I did wrong when beginning treatment for Lyme Disease.