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Learning to 'Fly' on My Own With Lyme Disease

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From the moment a baby bird begins to peck its way out of its shell, the struggle to “become” is on. Pecking its way out is hard work but necessary for survival. If humans interfere and help the bird out of its shell, it has little chance of living.

How like a bird I am! I have found in my 10 years with Lyme disease that there is only so much doctors and loved ones can do for me and then it’s up to me to do the rest. I received much needed medicine and nourishment from them when I was too sick to do for myself but then the day came when I had to choose. Do I let them continue to do things for me and or do I try and learn how to do some things myself? I had often dreamed of flying but it seemed that too often I fell flat on my face when the latest treatment did not bring the hoped-for results. My mind went to the familiar depressing place first – that place where hopelessness lives. My body followed as new fatigue and symptoms set in. I quit thinking about getting a job or pursuing my dreams.

But the urge to fly, that was always in my heart, did not die even though I was
discouraged. I got myself up and went to church where I heard an amazing song that I felt was just for me. It was called “I Believe I Can Fly.”

I used to think that I could not go on and life was nothing but an awful song.
But now I know the meaning of true love; I’m leaning on the everlasting arms.
If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.
I believe I can fly.
I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day. Spread my
wings and fly away.
I believe I can soar. I see me running through that open door. I believe I can
fly. I believe I can fly.”

bird flying among clouds at sunset

Flying for the first time alone is scary!

Flutter, flutter… fall.

Flutter, flutter, flutter… fall.

Flutter, flutter, flutter, flutter… up, up and away! At last, I caught that elusive breeze that lifted me up and beyond all I knew before.

Did I need to rest often still? Yes. Did I look like everyone else who had found their wings too? No, not at all. Because I had been in my nest for so long, my wings needed time to gain strength and expand. And I couldn’t fly as high or for as long as some others. But I was not flying for them. My flight is my own. And God has given me strength to believe that I too can fly.

See I was on the verge of breaking down. Sometimes silence can seem so loud.
There are miracles in life I must achieve. But first I know it starts inside of
If I can see it, then I can be it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.
I believe I can fly. I believe…” – 
R. Kelly

Originally published: May 10, 2018
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