Skip to main content

Knight in Shining Armor

Okay, I promise someday soon to stop writing so much about Lyme. I feel like I'll be ready to move on soon; it will still be a part of my life, but I won't need to think about it so much. However, in the meantime, something I've been pondering.

Over a year ago when I first started meeting with my counselor, she had me draw a diagram of my extended family, describing each person in a few brief words. She was struck that I described myself as "burdened." I had no idea at the time how significant that word was when applied to me.

I was always the girl who had it all together. I was perfect. I followed the rules. I was smart, funny, capable, understanding. A good listener, encouraging, always had the right word at the right time. I was a good writer and a talented musician. I took care of kids like a pro and adults loved me. I could solve problems. I never lost my temper. I was mature, responsible. I was everything to everyone. I didn't complain about sickness or sorrow. I fit into the landscape so well that I might as well not have been there.

I was so busy helping other people with their lives that there was no time, no energy for my own life. And I was so stubborn, so tough, so committed to remaining this girl everyone could rely on, that I would have continued living this empty life indefinitely - probably until I died. I knew somewhere deep inside that if I failed, if I let things fall apart, certain people in my life would be angry and disappointed with me.

You don't think of God rescuing you with suffering. It almost seems obscene to say it. But if I hadn't gotten so sick and depressed that I literally couldn't function anymore, I would never have given up. I wouldn't have paused long enough to see the lie I was living, the horrible emptiness of it, the desperate settling for scraps of happiness.

I had to abandon the me that had created that life. To live something better, I had to let God remake me from the ground up. And He did. He's pretty awesome that way.

Comments

Kelly Sauer said…
You really didn't say anything about lyme here. But you told some of your story. And that is always worth reading.

Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Waste Time When You Could Be Watching a Zombie Movie

Today I read one of those horrible articles that the internet seems to have been designed for, consisting of 40 tips for becoming as successful as the author: "How to Live a Full Life (and Leave Nothing on the Table) by 30." Yes, that's really the title. Normally I wouldn't publish a blog post in response, but because I managed to Come Down with a Chronic Illness (and Achieve Basically Nothing Else) by 30 and Am Currently Feeling the Aftereffects of One of the Treatments I Periodically Take, Which Causes Me to Feel High and Lose My Inhibitions, I'm just going to go for it. (Author's point #33: "Seriously, You Can Do Whatever You Want." Why thank you, young man, I think I will!)

The author's name is Ryan Holiday, and he has published several books. It sounds like he is also very wealthy, because note point #15, "Sooner Is Not Better," where he says he had a weird goal of becoming a millionaire by 25, but it didn't happen until after

Lyme Recovery, Seven Years In

When I first got my Lyme diagnosis, I went to the library and borrowed all the books on Lyme disease I could find (there were only three, if I recall correctly). One book was the personal account of a woman whose undiagnosed Lyme crossed her placenta and infected her unborn son, who later died in childhood after horrific symptoms. That book and a second featured images of magnified ticks, and I would peek through the pages taking care not to accidentally touch the photographs. I realized I might never have children. I returned the books to the library.

The third book was Biography of a Germ by Arno Karlen, a scientific essay on the Lyme spirochete. I didn't finish it because I took it back to the library as part of my stop-scaring-myself-silly dragnet. But I remembered it fondly. The author methodically explored the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burdorferi, as an organism in its own right, a marvel of evolutionary survival that relies on a complex chain of ticks, small ani…

Waking Up Is Hard to Do

Ever since I was six or so, I have battled alarm clocks. They've jolted me awake. I've turned them off. I've hit snooze. I've gone back to sleep. I've tried to awaken myself gently with the classical music station or Aaron Copland CDs. No matter what, I can't get out of bed when the alarm says I should.

When I was a child, my father and I would race after the school bus. As an adult, I was chronically late for work. I'm not a morning person. I don't sleep well and rarely feel rested. Lymies don't feel well in the mornings anyway, and it didn't help that I'm easily startled and was being shocked awake each day with the equivalent of those paddles they use on heart attack victims. All morning I'd feel groggy and queasy and antsy, with adrenaline pumping through me.

A couple years ago I got sick and had to stay home from work for a few days. When I was ready to get back to the office, I took it easy for a few alarm-clock-free mornings while…