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What a Simple Listening Ear Means in My Lyme Battle

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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.

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Originally published: November 7, 2016
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