To the Person Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster of Lyme Disease

Healing can be ugly, messy, and painful.

Sometimes it looks like being curled in a ball on your bed sobbing. Sometimes it looks like wanting to be left alone and not talking to anyone. Sometimes it looks like grieving the loss of your life before you got sick. Sometimes it looks like having a panic attack and being unable to breathe. Sometimes it looks like frustration because you are doing everything right, but aren’t getting better. Sometimes it looks like happiness because you were able to accomplish something you couldn’t do for months. Sometimes it looks like feeling proud for how far you’ve come, even if you still have a long way to go. Sometimes it’s all of this at once.

So many emotions come up in cycles. Anger for getting sick and lack of control. Fear about not getting better. Frustration trying to explain your symptoms to others who don’t understand. Invalidation from doctors and others. Powerlessness over your life. Loss of control. Sadness. Physical and emotional pain. Worry about finances. Loneliness and isolation. Jealousy. Feeling like you are missing out on life.

You feel like you surrendered but then the next wave comes to knock you over. And you surrender again.

Healing comes in waves. Maybe we need to flow with the emotions that come up, and check in with ourselves to see what we need in the moment. Maybe it’s just to continue crying in bed. Maybe it’s to call a friend. Maybe it’s to be alone. Maybe it’s to journal your emotions. Maybe it’s to punch a pillow. Maybe it’s to meditate. Maybe it’s an Epsom salt bath with relaxing music and candles. Your toolbox will be unique to you.

You are not alone. You are not “crazy.” You are human.

We are taught that certain emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, and shame are “bad.” We try to suppress them. But what if we allowed ourselves to feel everything – the good and bad – without judgment?

Maybe we need to sit with the darkness in order to feel the light. It helps to remember that as much as we feel pain, anger, bitterness, fear, resentment, and other unpleasant emotions, we have the capability to feel happiness, joy, and love just as strongly.

And in the meantime, we can learn to love our brokenness.

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