Tag Archives: coping

Gifts from Lyme Disease

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When I was felled by Lyme, my college roommate Tracey said, “I know you don’t see it this way right now, but your Lyme battle is going to change your life in good ways, too.”

My immediate response was, “Yeah, right. Lyme is a nightmare.”

It’s easy to focus on the dark side.

But she’s right. Now that I’m a little better, I see that  chronic illness definitely gives you perspective about what’s important.

Sure, I miss out on a lot of life. But what I can do, despite limitations, is somehow sweeter. Exhilarating, even.

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Grief is a Rubber-band Ball

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I’m no stranger to major loss. As a teenager, I lost my beloved family home and other ties to childhood in the wake of huge financial losses for my parents.

Then came the death of my father after a five-year struggle with lymphoma. Later came the excruciatingly slow passing of my mother-in-law to Alzheimer’s, and my own mother’s declining memory. 

Then, the nearly unbearable abyss of divorce. A few years later, I’d only just started to approach feeling whole when a tiny tick transmitted the lyme that knocked me to my knees—and even further down.

The holidays, a touchstone to the past, intensify the grief. I feel it in every cell of my being.

Recently I said to my therapist, who is helping me get through the many stresses of chronic lyme, “A year ago, I thought I had a handle on the losses lyme has sent my way. And I sure thought I had processed all that grief from childhood, and all that terrible pain from the breakup of my family. Why am I so overwhelmed all over again?”

And she said, “Because grief is like a rubber-band ball.” Continue reading