Monday, July 30, 2012

A Blog Post to Myself

When you live with a chronic illness, you go through a lot of emotions in a single day. Some days are easy; some days are not. Today I hit the two year marker of my treatment of chronic Lyme disease. Two years! I simply cannot believe it. And in true Lyme fashion, this day was both easy and difficult.

Last night, I had an amazing massage that gave me so much energy. I was able to accomplish so many things today and that felt like nothing short of a miracle. That doesn't mean that I wasn't in pain, nor does it mean I wasn't exhausted. It just means that I was able to do more than normal, and for that I was grateful.

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and this ending involved the "bursting" of the burst of energy from my massage. I had what I refer to as a Lyme crash. I found myself stuck in my car in the driveway, too exhausted to get out and walk inside. I stayed in my car for about 20 minutes before I could muster up enough strength to move. There is no end to the many ups and downs with Lyme disease. But there was a time when I couldn't even get out of bed...

Over the course of these two years of treatment, I'd like to remind myself of a few things and a few lessons that I've learned along the way. So here goes.

Dear Alyson,
First and foremost, I'd like you to remember to always try your best to be gentle with yourself. You are doing what you can, with what you have, where you are. And you are doing a great job. Yes, it's hard. Yes, you often want to quit. But you don't! You persevere and you are strong. You are not afraid to ask for help when you need it. 

When you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of living the rest of your life with this illness, you're focusing too much on the negative. You are still able to do so many things in spite of your illness. Yes, you have to work much harder than most people at many things. But you don't give up; just look at all you've overcome!

Other people can be there for you and help lift you up when you are down (literally and figuratively), but ultimately you are the one in charge of your health and your mental outlook. You are your own best friend, so act like it. Thank your body for all of its hard work in healing. 

Way to go, Alyson! I'm proud of you!


PS, Never give up on a cure! Some day, some way, you--and all of the others suffering from this disease--will be healed.