Dear Weary Warrior,
I have been where you are right now. Emotionally exhausted, body in pain, feeling like you are trying to see through eyes covered with ten layers of saran wrap. Your brain is foggy and you aren’t sure what you are even thinking anymore. The road has already been long but seems to stretch out endlessly in front of you too.
I have been where you are right now. No plan, no hope, no help, no resources. It takes true courage to overcome the shadows each day. It takes a village and a toolbox to help you move forward. Know that it is possible- if not today, then tomorrow. Hold on to hope.
There are many things I have learned in my fourteen months since finally being diagnosed with Lyme disease and several coinfections after eight years of being mysteriously sick. Fourteen months may seem short to you, but it was a whole life time to me. The lessons I learned are ones I will never forget. The person I am today I am grateful to be.
These are three of the biggest themes I have been experiencing in my life since getting those positive test results:
1. Self care, self care, self care: If you are tired of hearing this, you don’t truly understand what it means. You aren’t practicing it daily and therefore, aren’t healing the way you have the potential to. Taking care of myself first every day is what helps me build up a reserve for the next day. We never know what we will come up against physically- that is why it is so important to incorporate habits and attitudes that enable us to feel mentally strong and resilient. Showing love to myself by taking care of my faith, heart/mind and body is the best way to build courage and strength to be ready for whatever may come my way in the future.
2. Don’t fall into the label. MANY people are so relieved at finally getting a diagnosis, that it becomes all they can identify with. They spend all their time and energy talking to others who share the same symptoms and fail to work on building their way out of the hole- through relationships, hobbies and future goal setting. It’s ok to need to relate to others who truly understand sometimes. But don’t slap the label of LYME or something else over your entire life. You can have the t-shirt, bumper sticker and Facebook friends– but are you nurturing those standing around you right now? Are you finding ways to integrate back into the “real” world as you improve? Have you found a purpose or an inspiration that lights your soul on fire and brings you renewed strength and energy? All of these are important.
Physical dis-ease is the last stop on the train. There are layers of factors that get piled up before our body begins to break down on the cellular level that lets disease take over. You should be spending AS MUCH OR MORE time addressing your emotional and mental health in form of removing negative thought patterns, limiting beliefs and trauma effects as you do taking care of yourself physically. The subconscious mind holds this load– and it is through alleviating that stress that we can being to experience true health.
3. BREATHE. Even when it feels endless, even when you truly believe the next time you close your eyes will be the last, IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. Morning always follows night. Always. Remember, courage first, then conquer. Pray for safe people. Pray for clarity on the path forward. Pray for real, quality sleep. Pray for revelations of where you are stuck. pray, pray, pray. Voicing our struggles out loud allows the brain to get unstuck from it’s negative thought loop. In releasing the negative thought, you allow space for a new pattern to be created. One you control, one that is positive, one that is uplifting. One that can drive you forward.
I say all of this in love. My journey is not over yet and neither is yours. But if we can approach our illness as a curious journey to be explored, I truly believe the possibilities are endless, the potential is limitless, the opportunity is great. Of course, those are just my thoughts. I would love to hear yours: what do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned through your chronic illness? Comment below or shoot me an email. Keep your head up. One hour at a time.
Lisa is a gypsy soul hearted mama living a full life despite lyme disease. she loves reading, writing and laughing with her toddler. find her at www.abundantlifeandwellness.org or send her an email, she reads each one! email@example.com