Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Very Things That Held You Down

When I was at my sickest with Lyme disease, I was angry and depressed. I was frustrated with being in pain every day. I hated not knowing if I was going to get better or not. I was miserable and grieving my old life--I wanted my freedom back from being sick!

During that rough time of my life, one of my best friends--knowing how much I love quotes--gave me a little plaque with this quote by Dumbo on it: "The very things that held you down are going to carry you up." Though I've never been a fan of animated Disney movies, it was a very thoughtful gift, and there's not a doubt in my mind that my friend knew what she was doing when she gave me that particular quote!

But to be honest, it hit too close to home for me. It made me squirm. It meant finding peace in the midst of chaos; it meant not only accepting my illness, but also learning from it and growing from it. Even though it made me uncomfortable, I displayed that little quote right above my bathroom sink where I would see it several times a day. And every single day--whether sick or well, happy or sad--I read and reread that quote, "The very things that held you down are going to carry you up."

I looked at that quote tonight while brushing my teeth, and thought about how that one little sentence has guided me over my journey with Lyme disease. Last night I reread an old blog post that I wrote called The Courage to be Sick. I wrote that a week after one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and though I didn't see it at the time, that post could not have been a more perfect example of how the very thing that was holding me down was already carrying me up.

My little plaque is completely beat up, withered and fading, but still standing. Just like me.


  1. Beautifully said ALyson. So very very true. Hope this finds you doing well.

  2. Touching......thanks for posting. You are very encouraging and brave