To the Chronic Lyme Patient Who’s Tired of Being Responsible

Dear Fellow Lyme Fighter,

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Lyme Disease sucks.

I get it. You’re physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Every day is regimented (or at least it is until something gets in the way). It’s scheduled and pieced together because you’re trying as hard as you can to do the right things so that you have some sort of hope of getting healthy one day.

Unlike the average person, you wake up each day knowing exactly how your morning routine must look. You don’t get much of a choice in the matter and you probably can’t switch it up depending on what you want. You may start detoxing right off the bat with some lemon water or take meds that must be taken on an empty stomach.

By 9 a.m. you’ve likely already taken a handful of pills, maybe drunk a tincture and water mixture, and have eaten your breakfast of choice that is gluten, dairy, and sugar free. If you happen to have additional food intolerances, you avoid those foods, too.

When you have Lyme, there’s no leisurely getting up and then eating whatever you feel like at the moment (even on weekends). You can’t just decide to take your vitamins if you happen to remember. Each and every piece of your Lyme fighting protocol is important, so if you want to get better you can’t just skip over parts of it.

All of this makes me want to scream sometimes!

I wish that my current life wasn’t so regimented. I wish I could participate in spur of the moment activities like going out for half price appetizers or taking a break at work to eat cookies that a coworker brought for their birthday. It would be nice to have energy to work AND have a social life, but it’s just not how things are going right now.

Our lives as Lyme patients are really, really hard. And the rest of the outside world tends to walk past us without even a small clue of the pain, stress, and hardship we endure on a daily basis.

The things we say no to really aren’t out of choice, but out of necessity. We may muster up enough energy to attend a birthday party but then are unable to even consider having a slice of cake because we know the gluten and sugar will just feed the Lyme and make us feel worse afterward.

We have to say no to dinners out because finding options that meet our dietary restrictions may be next to impossible. If we do decide to go out and just not eat, it can be awkward for other people in the group even if we are totally fine with not eating the food.

I often get tired of being responsible!!!

Some days I just want to bury my head in a carton of Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream or throw down 3 pieces of pizza. Other days I want to jump on an airplane to China to go back to the place where I felt most alive. During those moments of longing, I am looking for an escape. I imagine that just doing what I want will make me feel better…but I actually know the truth in it.

I know that living through this season of restrictions and discipline is necessary for brining the healing that my body needs. But, still it’s so hard.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried to my boyfriend and begged him to just let me have my favorite ice cream. I’ve said I didn’t care about my treatment plan. I’ve wanted to throw it all away because I haven’t seen the results that I wanted.

But, there’s still been something there holding me accountable. I know that being responsible is going to help me in the long run. I know that saying “no” means I’m only saying “no” to the good things so that I can say “yes” to the best things.

Ultimately, I want to get better. The goal is to get to a place where I can have a relatively “normal” life again. It may be hard to have hope that this will happen when progress is slow and not a gradual incline, but it’s truly worth it.

If you’re at a place where you want to give up on following your Lyme protocol, please know that you are not alone.

If you’re wondering if it’s even worth it to keep trying, know that I’m right there with you. We all go through times where we doubt and struggle through treatment. We want to see progress now, not later. But, sometimes, we must be patient and disciplined before we see the progress we’ve been working toward and praying for.

If you’re tired of being responsible, I hear you. I’m tired of it, too. But, I think we all want to live a life that’s real and purposeful. That can only happen if we remain patient in the wait and diligent in following our treatment protocols.

Let’s keep trusting that good things are to come.

It will all be worth it.

This whole Lyme Disease thing is hard. If you’re also suffering from Lyme or another chronic illness, please know that you don’t have to walk this out alone. I wrote an eBook called Finding Hope Through the Fog where I share about getting to my breaking point while suffering from the effects of Lyme Disease and how I found hope even while still walking through the fog. I’d love to give you a free copy!