What a Simple Listening Ear Means in My Lyme Battle

Recently I had a conversation with a close friend about the struggles I had because of Lyme disease. Half of me was saying, “Shut up! She doesn’t care. She doesn’t want to know!” The other half of me couldn’t stop the words from spilling out. Sometimes you just need to talk. One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the past seven years is that you can’t carry the burden alone. Even if your family and friends can’t offer advice or even relate, they can listen. Sometimes you don’t need anyone to say anything; you just need someone to be there. I am thankful for the people I have in my life who are there to listen to me. The people I can call crying, the people to whom I can tell my day was horrible, the people I can vent frustrations to.

Surround yourself with people who encourage you and lift you up! Positivity is powerful. Sometimes struggling with a chronic illness can leave you anxious, depressed, cynical or bitter. But, when you can talk to someone who can help carry your burden and lift you up positively, it can make a world of difference.

One one occasion I was feeling pretty low. My head hurt, I felt bad about myself, and I didn’t want to do anything but crawl in bed, watch T.V. and go to sleep. Before I did all this, I texted a friend, and I am so thankful I did. Her response was one of positivity and love. Instead of focusing on the negative in my life, she talked about how much she loved me and how everything was going to be OK. Those words of encouragement made my day so much better. Did my physical condition improve? Not a whole lot, but my mental condition was improved by just those few words of encouragement. Words can be powerful.

Surround yourself with people who you can call in the middle of the night or vent to on a bad afternoon. Surround yourself with people who will pour out love. Something I’ve come to realize more and more is we can’t do life alone. Sticking myself in a corner and thinking about my condition didn’t help me, but talking about it with people who care did. While my physical condition might not ever be great, my life can still be wonderful because of the people I have walking beside me and even carrying me some of the way.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV)

There truly is power in friendship. Struggling with a chronic illness is hard, but having people that care about you and can lift you up makes things just a little bit easier.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Lyme Disease

drawing of girl with hands on hips and stubborn expression

When Being Stubborn Hurts My Health

Tuesday started out a productive day. Thankfully our little marshmallow was in preschool (thanks for family helping us out until we get back on our feet and health). I got some bookkeeping, apartment stuff and some much-needed writing done. I actually felt really good. But one of the lagging to-do list things that I didn’t [...]
Ok monday let is do this quote

My Motivation Monday as a Person With Chronic Lyme Disease

Remission is what motivates me. Remission from this horrendous, six-year-long battle with chronic lyme disease. I cannot even begin to say what I have been through and what I’m going through. The physical pain, the emotional pain, the 50+ pills a day, the everlasting treatments that give minimal relief, the struggle to keep your faith and stay strong. The [...]
woman walking towards the light at the end of a tunnel

I’m Casting a Light on the Shadow of My Lyme Disease

If this past week has taught me anything, it’s that life moves in cycles of the very good, the very bad and the very impossible in-between, but it never lingers in one place for long. A few weeks ago, I didn’t think I’d make it through this relapse. Two and a half years of unimaginable [...]
Burning Jack O'Lantern on a rustic table with autumn decorations, darkly lit.

Celebrating Halloween the Spoonie Way

Holidays can be extra hard for those of us with chronic illnesses. Expectations can hit head-on with reality and cause negative memories for the next year to come. We may not be able to attend all events we want to, eat foods that are traditional, or socialize without anxiety. This creates even more room for [...]