How Lysa TerKeurst's Book 'Uninvited' Relates to Life With an Illness
The phrase, “I don’t want my normal to be snatched away,” hit me straight to the heart while I was reading, “Uninvited,” by Lysa TerKeurst. Although she was talking about relationships, I felt like it was speaking to me. This journey of chronic Lyme’s disease and other co-infections has definitely changed “normal” for me, and in many ways. This disease has robbed me of a lot, especially my normal.
The last two weeks have not been the best weeks. In many cases I have faked it till I could go home and rest. I had no idea why I was feeling so bad, but found out that I am allergic to two more medicines. Seriously! My body just doesn’t seem to like me. I keep gaining weight not matter what I eat, and most of it is water weight. I have to go to the bathroom almost every hour. I can’t fully exercise partly because of my fatigue, and mainly because of a previous hip injury that has been exasperated because of this illness. The list could go on!
I think the thing I feel more self conscious about is what others think. I truly want to not care what they think, but I can only imagine how tired they are of hearing about why I can’t join them, why I can’t eat this, or another excuse. And, recently, another family got together with our family.
The mom mentioned that they had almost made other plans because they weren’t sure if we would make it. Honestly, I don’t know how often I have canceled on them, but the comment hurt deep even though it was truth.
There is part of me that just doesn’t want to explain anymore, and then there is another part of me that wants to scream, “Please don’t forget me!” Just because I can’t do it today doesn’t mean I don’t want to be invited the next time.
It is such an inward battle. I am sick of my “excuses.” Some days I imagine that it sounds like all these little excuses that a healthy person would just blow off and think, “They are making this all up. This is all in their head.” And I agree! I wake up and think this is in my head. So, I will push myself together and think positive. Then I collapse later that day without any energy to give to my family.
Deep down that insecurity of no one believing me rises up each doctor’s appointment and each conversation with a friend. I try so hard not to bring it into the conversation, but it never fails I still do. Last week I want to scream to the world I hate that I have more allergies to medicine and food. I wanted to scream, “I can’t even breath correctly!” I wanted someone to feel my pain.
I feel so alone some days. My friends going along with their lives not realizing I want someone to just text me and say, “How are you feeling?” They are probably afraid that if they do ask, that they will get a long drawn out story. Who wants a complainer in their lives? I wouldn’t want it.
So how do I change that? When is complaining about something new that is going on important to be aware of, or something that is just a side effect to this disease? After all, It took me 10 days to realize one of the medicines I was allergic to.
It crept up on me slowly. Then, when I added a new medicine to the mix, everything quickly worsened. Why didn’t I believe myself that something was off? Mainly because I do not know what is normal for me anymore.
Thankfully, I do have friends that ask about me and also I have ones that are going through some of the same things I am. I know that I am not alone. I just feel misunderstood.
My normal was taken away from me and I probably need to grieve for it. I do not know if normal will come back, but there have been some good days in between the bad – and I treasure those like they are gold! I’m trying to hold the good memories so tight these days. All that I need to focus on is baby steps in this long journey of recovery.
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Photo courtesy of Lysa TerKeurst’s Facebook page