Severe health issues is one of the hardest things I’ve endured… yet I can’t deny the gifts that come with it.
They are gifts because they are forced on you.
If you don’t execute perfectly, it’s game over.
I like to say healing Lyme is like hiking Mt. Everest solo. Sometimes, you climb mountains with a group; other times, people climb Mt. Everest alone. And the lessons you learn hiking it alone are different than in a group.
You have to be prepared. You have to stay completely present to yourself and trust yourself. You have to learn how to deal with intense fear and pain by yourself. You have to know you’re on the correct route. You have to become your best friend. If you don’t, you perish.
The Lyme journey is like climbing Everest solo. Yes, there are other people with Lyme, but my guess is 95 percent of them reading this can relate to what I’m saying.
Nobody can really understand. Nobody knows the depth of it. You don’t get it until you get it. You eventually learn to go where you are understood, not to try to get people to understand.
With that aloneness, you have to trust yourself. You have to put self-care as such a high priority that your discipline to yourself would make any regular person the healthiest human on the planet.
When the crushing pain hits you that’s more intense than you knew existed, you have to learn healthy coping mechanisms, otherwise, you’d fall into death traps of addiction to painkillers or other ways people numb themselves out.
You have to make hard decisions to heal.
When you are faced with an opportunity, such as a job to make a lot of money, and every FIBER of your being wants it, your ego wants it, you know you could do it before Lyme, you have pressure from people and friends… but yet you know… you just… can’t right now.
That going hard could set you back.
And nobody that has ever been in the deep end of Lyme would risk anything that would put them back there in that space.
So, you learn how to say no.
And you have to say no to a lot of things.
It might look selfish to others. It might look like you only are out for yourself. But you have no other choice. You have to make it to the peak of Everest and back.
Although the outside world might not understand, you know what choice you need to make. You know that if you take that other route up the mountain you’ll fall and freeze in a ridge, even though everyone else is telling you to go that route.
You know you have to go the other way.
So, you do.
With this aloneness and having to take such good care of yourself, you have to draw boundaries. You can’t go out and eat a random dinner and drink alcohol. You can’t allow anything that brings you down or stresses you out. You can’t do anything that isn’t good for you.
I’ll be honest, I wish I had a mentor. I wish I had my old friends and still felt that unconditional love but they have passed away. I wish that there wasn’t distance now with current friends because I know they are on their paths and they can’t slow down for me (and they shouldn’t).
I just have to make it to the peak and back in one piece. I have to endure and stay the course. I have to win this battle to be an example to everyone else that they can win the battle, too, and not to sit down and let the crushing fatigue and marathon level of endurance overtake them, and give up.
I have myself.
And I just can’t wait to give back to all those climbing the mountain, who may be running out of supplies, who might be losing the mental war halfway up or are just getting too cold from the isolation. I can’t wait to help them reach that damn peak.