Learning To Accept The Limitations Of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is Limiting.
As another week draws to a close, I find myself thinking, “What did I accomplish this week?” This is a common thought for me on a Saturday morning. I began a new protocol for Lyme Disease treatment this past week and it has taken its toll on my body.
Still, I know this is another step closer to hope and healing in this long and often winding journey with chronic illness.
I have to remind myself that success is small steps that are taken right now. Some days it feels like I take baby steps, well, make that most days. Then once in a while I will have a decent day, when I can take bigger, deeper steps in this journey of life. It is so hard for me to move at the snail’s pace that I have been subjected to since my health began to largely deteriorate over the past eighteen years. “Slow and steady gets the job done,” often feels more like I’m on a merry-go-round at the park. Spinning in place, moving, but actually getting nowhere.
So many days I feel like the proverbial hamster on a wheel. Round and round I go, constantly striving to get in a bit of work here, between a nap there. The constant work, rest cycle is exhausting in itself. The mind boggling fatigue and pain of Lyme Disease dictate much of my day. I recently saw a quotation by Langston Hughes that seemed to sum up my struggle.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ~ L. Hughes
I rely a lot on my faith. My belief in a Higher Power is an integral part of my life. For myself, I am personally grateful to God who helps me to carry the burdens He has given me. But, I understand there are those who do not believe as I do. And, I think this quotation can be applied in several ways to our lives.
I have a very loving and supportive family and group of friends who try to understand my struggles with Lyme Disease and all that it entails. I think one of the single hardest things for me to learn, has been to accept help when it is offered. So often, I have refused the help of others, feeling it showed a sign of weakness on my part. Possibly feeling that I would then have to repay the favor in kind and not knowing where or when or if I would ever have the energy to do so. There has often been the sense of obligation or guilt in my mind, when it comes down to accepting the help of others. I have learned that at least ninety percent of the time, these fears are unfounded. That more often than not my family wants to be a help to me out of the love and concern in their hearts. It is me that has placed limits on that love and devotion. Note to self: accept help when offered.
Another thought about burdens; a heavy heart makes a burden even harder to bear. It helps to keep a bright outlook on life. To try and be as upbeat and as positive as possible. There has to be a want to in your heart and mind. A desire to keep going. I love to read little books of uplifting poetry and quotations. I love reading my Bible. I also enjoy reading about others who suffer similarly to me and derive strength and encouragement from their stories. It helps me not to feel so alone in all of this.
I am chronically ill, so I do realize that positive is not always possible. Believe me, there is no sugar coating on Lyme Disease. But, I have found that it is possible to have acceptance. I have accepted that I am chronically sick. I do not want to wallow in it so to speak. Just accept it! But, I am grateful for the breath in my body, shallow as it may be. I’m thankful for the hands I am typing this blog post with, no matter how much they hurt. I am thankful for SO many things. A thankful heart is a happy heart. I repeat this to myself often. It helps.
So I sit here and recap my week. I think over the little things I have accomplished. When I really sit back and look at it, I can see the progress. No matter how small the steps were, I have taken a few this week. I have traveled a little further down this road of
I think about teaching my daughter her ‘ABC’s’ on her first day of school. I think about that load of laundry that got washed, folded and put away.
I think about the small crochet project that I finished for my sister’s birthday gift. The miniature painting I completed for my Ebay shop.
I think about the naps I took, that I know I need for the healing process ahead. I think about the phone conversations with my grown daughter, my mother and my neighbor. The beautiful flowers that my son gave to me just because…
I enjoyed wrapping the birthday gifts for my daughter’s fifth birthday party this weekend. I remember the get well card mailed to a far away aunt. I think about the checks I wrote to pay the bills.
And then there is today, my little daughter’s fifth birthday party. I will rally myself once again and step up to the plate. I will smile, I will talk, I will welcome my family into my home. I will. Because, I rested this morning. The story of my life. Rest and then live a little.
Rest to live and live to rest. A mantra I have learned to live by. A mantra I have by necessity learned to live with. Like the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.” ~L. Tzu
Have a great weekend dear friends. Rest and take care of YOU!