Hey Everyone! Here it is! The 85th segment of my fictional story, When Life Hands You Lymes. Please sit back and enjoy.
“The days when the herxheimer reaction started were the worst. The most horrible and plain-laced, guilt-driven and miserable days of my life. I curled up in bed, begging God to let me die. I didn’t know how to handle what was going on and I had lost the fresh face of hope that had been offered to me when I had been feeling better. The seconds, minutes, hours and days crawled by in a haze of pain, confusion and heart-wrenching calls to God to sustain me, then they blurred as weeks passed.
“When I finally began to feel better, I was skittish. I’d gone through too many ups and downs to even let myself hope that one day I’d be all the way better. So I pushed the thought out of my brain. I had learned to cope while being sick and I could continue on. It was all I knew. Somewhere back in my far distant childhood I knew I’d felt energetic all the time, but those days were more like a dream than anything else by this time.
“When I finally realized that the herbs were indeed doing their job and I would continue to get better and one day soon I’d be free of Lyme disease, I began a legit freak out. At first I didn’t know what was going on. I spent many hours at night staring at the ceiling wondering what in the world was happening. Then finally it hit me. Being sick was my comfort zone. It was all I remembered. I am so used to being me, I was so used to having Lyme disease that I wasn’t sure how to function with being healthy.
“Pain, brain fog, tiredness… It’s all part of my life. It’s so engrained in my brain that I was’t sure how to get rid of it. And, I wasn’t sure what I would do without being sick. Somehow, without me knowing it, Lyme disease had snuck in and became part of my identity and I hated it. I was ashamed of it. That right there is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever said. My days were spent trying to re-work the facts in such a way to give me peace of mind and help me be able to say that no, I wasn’t actually scared of being healthy. And if the whole truth be known, I wasn’t just scared of being healthy. I was terrified. I was so confused and so out of my comfort zone and so in over my head that I felt like an emotional wreck half of the time. Then I beat myself up because logically that was the stupidest thing I had ever thought or done or even considered.
“I’m logical. I know how to deal with emotions. I know how to box up my thoughts and categorize them and make sense of all the little leftovers. But with this I felt absolutely helpless. I was frozen with fear. I felt stupid and humiliated. If I had any pride left from my almost three years of being sick you may be assured that my pride has met it’s death under the swift and unmerciful master of my dread.
“And yet I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get all the way better until I could condition my mind and come up with the right mindset. That made me feel even more guilty because in essence that meant that I could be doing leaps and bounds better by then, but my stupid, embarrassing, horrifying fear of being healthy was holding me back.” Turning around rapidly I pounded the bed with my fist, “Did you hear me, Julia? I’m scared to death of being healthy!” I screamed the words, my heart thumping wildly. “I know,” I whispered. “I must be going crazy.” I tried to find the strength to pull my eyes up and meet Julia’s gaze, but I was afraid. I didn’t know what I’d see. Condemnation. Confusion. Boredom. Fear. Maybe even hatred.
“Madalyn. You’re the strongest person I know.”
Her words came out so soft that at first I wasn’t sure I had heard them right. Of course she couldn’t have just said I was strong. I had just confessed I was scared of being healthy. In my mind that was the ultimate sign of weakness. How could someone become so immersed in themselves and their sickness that healthy no longer seemed like the right choice?
“Madalyn.” Julia called my name again, and this time I dared to look up. “You, Madalyn, are the strongest person I know.”
I opened my mouth, maybe to argue, maybe to defend myself in case she was being sarcastic, but then I stopped. Because right there, stamped on her face, amid her tears, was the smile of acceptance and love that I had craved for but thought was so far away. “Really?” Confusion washed over me. Had she not heard a word I had just said?
“Being sick is your comfort zone right now. It is what you know. Being healthy must be a terrifying thought. But you’re fighting. You’re fighting those fears. Fighting those boarders of your comfort zone and you’re going to break though. I know you will.”
For the first time in several months, my heart began to hope again. “You really believe that, Julia, don’t you?”
“One hundred percent.”