I spent some time reading your posts tonight. I must admit I avoid reading the the blogs of fellow Lyme sufferers most nights of the week because I have to be in the right mental state to do so. The reason is that you break my heart. A lot of times I cannot help but respond when moved; to encourage you, let you know I am praying for you and of course when appropriate, do my best to advise and share with you.
I have walked this path and (although I find myself mostly better) I do continue to walk it with you. I have noticed that as my complaints and symptoms slowly ebb away I feel less and less compelled to post and share. However I been thinking over the last couple weeks that this may be a mistake. Does the story simply end when the physical pain is mostly gone? Is there nothing more to say when fatigue doesn’t knock you flat?
I think there is more to say at this stage in the illness journey than ever because I am no longer bound by the limitations of how I am physically feeling and the mental and emotional devastation that come from that place. First, before I go on I am thinking my experience is a bit different than a lot of the stories I read because there are so many very young and lovely ladies on here that are suffering greatly who are still very young. You are in high school or your very early twenties, and your life has come to a halt because of your illness. You may not be able to finish school or enjoy all the activities that your friends enjoy, but have hope! You are young and you have been diagnosed and (God wiling) are getting proper treatment and will have an amazing life ahead of you. I also read the stories of some equally lovely ladies that are older, are married and have children (many who have adult children), and you are having a very different experience where you also suffer the difficulty of feeling that you are not there for your families.
Pardon me I am meandering a bit, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I relate to all of you in different ways, but I am not quite in the same place either. I am now 35 and single. I find myself to be in this strange in between place where I am no longer young and yet my life has certainly not followed the logical chronological order that should have transpired at this point. So I am kind of being “kicked out” of the chronically ill club and well, where do I go from here? This may be a strange analogy but I feel like Eliza Doolittle at the end of My Fair Lady when she sobs “What’s to become of me? what’s to become of me?”. You see Eliza has her whole life in front of her and her future has changed for the better but everything she was and made her “her” is gone. No more flower girl, no more peers who work in the same circle as herself, just a complete paradigm shift.
It sounds dumb I know but there is some fear in moving forward. Why? Because I am no longer in “survival mode” where life was all about just getting through the day…just making it through work…. just doing the bare minimum. Living in this mode is how I have spent most of the last decade of my life and now in a way has to be unlearned. I am having a shift back into life which I must say is wonderful! There are a thousand things I have always wanted to do that I can now (God willing) start doing. I am unexpectedly running into….dun dun dun dun….fear. But what if I still can’t? What if the reason things don’t happen for me in life can no longer be blamed on a disease but instead cannot be realized for other reasons? Hmmm… This is where faith comes in. This entire journey has been one long test of faith. The interesting thing is that you think of faith as being a simple thing, and in fact it is. But it is also something that we continually learn and grow in throughout our lives. The faith that got me through my hardest days physically and emotionally…through my toughest days, is at it’s base the very same that I need now, trust God. Pretty simple. That said I think it is more my reaction to that belief and the choices I make in regards to that belief that are different. God calls us to different courses of action throughout our lives and according to our circumstances. His gentle words to trust remain constant, but now I feel Him telling me that the time of apathy is over, now is the time to walk and leap instead of crawl.
Now I must share with you that I am an all or nothing thinker. So I tend to put the pressure on myself that my entire future depends on every little step or decision, my entire life depends on what I do right now! As I am writing this I am finding peace in knowing that faith comes in the steps just as much as in the giant leaps. God is calling me to “trust” and “obey” (His go to words to me over the last several years). The responsibility on my part is to spend time with Him and rest in the fact that every step forward while walking in obedience is a step towards the future He has planned for me.
Deep sigh. Whatever happens it is all good. 🙂