Today, a dear, sweet person asked me how I was doing. I reviewed the fact that I managed to avoid the cold/flu horror that has spread like wildfire this past winter and laid many people down for weeks at a time. Then, because this dear lady knew about my Lyme life, I gave her a quick update on my life as a LYMIE: “it sucks!”
“It sucks,” “it’s really rough,” “it’s tough and it’s killing me to get better…” these responses have been truthfully spoken in response to those who ask, and truly care about, how I am doing. However, after I uttered these words, my weight shifted to one hip and the smile on my face widened as I looked at this sweet lady and decided that there was something else I could share.
“While my health situation right now is really, really rough, I also have to say that because of this chronic disease, I have learned several things that many people will never understand, experience or appreciate in their whole life.
I have learned that at night, when the stars are out, you can take a deep breath and gaze at the stars and experience one of the most peaceful feelings ever.
I have learned that the feeling of a tear sliding down your cheek is one of the most healing feelings a human being will ever experience.
I have learned that when you have an attitude that tries to look on the bright side, an attitude that keeps your feet on the ground and sees reality with humor whenever possible, you spread that attitude to others. They may call you innocent, naive or too young to have faced the “real world,” but chronic illness has a tendency of making the world extremely real. At times, your body does not allow you to choose this attitude – for years my brain was on overload and unable to remove the clouds.
But these things I have learned, through thirteen years… being a LYMIE can suck at times, and getting through each day as a chronically ill young person is nothing short of a war. But can YOU say that you know the feeling of a tear sliding down your cheek? Or the peace that washes over you as you gaze at the stars above? Or the often-painful choice of choosing to smile when life seems unlivable?