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I joined to find a community that understands what it’s like to live with and manage daily all that comes with chronic illness. I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease over 5 years ago. I’m still on my journey and looking to walk this path alone no more. #lyme Disease #lyme Warrior #chronic Illness #chronic Pain #chronic Loneliness

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Finding Your Brilliant Passionate You

I'm taking a free course on Coursera called "Brilliant Passionate You". And I recommend it highly. One of the assignments is to write a letter to yourself. In this letter you explore why exercise and physical health is important to your life journey. You also explore your emotional well being. You also look at the importance of gratitude. The last thing you do is think about other steps you might take to improve your life through things like lifestyle changes. I'm sharing my letter assignment here because I have come so far in my healing - physical, emotional, spiritual. 10 years ago, I grieved over my arthritis and physical degeneration.I felt like a train wreck that would never be fixed. And lonely, oh so lonely. Then I got my heart broken first by family and then by the love of my life. Then I got lyme disease. Struggled with homelessness. It was all so bleak. But I guess I'm a stubborn Taurean because I kept getting up, brushing myself off and moving forward. In my deepest core, I wanted peace and happiness and fulfillment, not darkness. It wasn't always easy. But it was worth it. And now I look back and see the miracle in my journey. This letter assignment allowed me to take stock of where I'm at. The person I was 10 years ago is not the person that I am now. Who knew? Anyway, here's the letter:

"Kim, In order to move ahead in your life, it is optimal to have a body that is in the best health possible. As someone who has been challenged by weight issues, injury and disease, you know that the worst thing that you can do is stop moving. Keep the body moving as best you can. Strength, stamina, flexibility and good balance will serve you well. Keep putting healthy, life sustaining foods in your body. This is a life long work in progress for you. Food has been a constant paradox - an enemy, a friend, a comforter, a destroyer. So continue to work towards eating as healthy as you can. But you are a foodie and someone who loves to cook and try new things, so allow yourself some reasonable indulgences. Balance.

Emotional health is something that will always be in front of you! The other day you approximated that you had been to about 15 therapists in your life. But what you found is that no therapist can help you until you really look inward at your major issues and own them and most of all, show them (YOU!) compassion. Yes you are damaged goods, but like a suitcase that has traveled many places, been bumped and thrown around -- you have the dents to prove it -- you have survived and continue to move forward.

Gratitude is huge. You have continued to heal by finding the small joys in life and being thankful for them. The big joys you celebrate bring more joy by just acknowledging them. KEEP BEING GRATEFUL, KIM

Mindfulness is a struggle, I know. You have trouble meditating and its hard for you to focus. But keep trying. Your anxiety and PTSD doesn't run your life. So don't give into it.

The changes to your daily lifestyle you are taking a step at a time. And its working. Keep moving in that direction. The journey is not over and it does keep getting more and more interesting, fulfilling and enlightening.

I love you, Kim.

#lyme #Arthritis #Selflove #Gratitude

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Forgiveness = Freedom & Peace

I’m sry this is a lil long. I am 52 but the baby in my fam. 3 brothers and 1 sister who passed. One of my brothers who is the only married one said they considered me more like their daughter then a sister.
We were extremely close talked on the phone all the time sleep overs & vacations. I then got sick Lyme twice then diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
I unfortunately was not able to work any longer. I had loved working and loved my career. My company ended up laying off 90% of my department. I was absolutely crushed. At the time I had needed back surgery and ended up getting an anterior lumbar fusion.

When I spoke with my brother he felt that I could and should still work. He and my sister in law started saying that I should lose weight (which they had not known I has lost a considerable amount of weight)
Then they went on to say I should stop drinking which again because I had quit smoking due to the surgery I also stopped drinking.
They then said A LOT to me a lot of things that were out of line. They then proceeded to say the most painful thing to me.
Which was they hoped that I wouldn’t get approved for disability. Now at the time my husband was awaiting his disability as he was hurt on the job. So financially we were struggling. (Sry so long).

So fast forward 10 years I have been on disability and my brother and sister in law do not speak. They told my mother they do not know why we’re not speaking or why I’m mad at them. I think my biggest pet peeve of the whole thing is they said they looked at me as a daughter. Yet they never reach out. We have had a few special occassions were my daughter wanted them there, so we invited them.
They have never invited us to anything. I don’t want to be petty and want to do the whole forgive and forget but the question is I am worthy are they worthy of my forgiveness or can as I have my own family my husband and daughter. Write them off as I feel they did me ?
Whatcha ya guys think

#fibromyalgia #fibrowarrior
#fibrofighter #sickofbeingsick
#chroniclymediseaseawareness #lymesucks #LymeWarrior #lyme
#invisibleillness #spoonielife #chronicpainsucks #epsteinbarr
#ra #rheumatoidarthritis #ic/BPS #interstitialcystitis #ptsd #sciatica #pituitarytumor #nervedamage #ankylosingspondylitis #LymeDisease #LymeWarrior #chronicpain #chronicpainsufferer #ddd #migraines
#immunocompromised #forgive #familydisfunction
#InvisibleDisability #DisabilityBenefits #anteriorlumbarfusion
#LymeDisease #ChronicLymeDisease

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How is it going?

How is everyone doing physically or mentally?
I feel like I am in a constant state of up and down physically. I say tomorrow I am going to do xyz, and my body says go for it but I'll punish you later or forget I'm punishing you for just thinking about doing something 😂 #HEDS #POTS #MCAS #Gastroparesis #lyme

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Art Heals #ArtTherapy #Healing #alcoholink #Art #LymeDisease

It is seven years since I began my art journey. I'm still going, only now I focus on watercolor for the most part. I am no longer on #lyme treatment, though I do have some ups and downs s@till. #Art has been a blessing to me, over and over again, and I hope to grow as an artists every day that God gives me. I need art. This is my story:



Overdid it

My uncle's funeral was yesterday and I wanted to go. 5 hours there 5 hours back. 10 hours in a car. I don't regret it but my body hates me. #HEDS #POTS #MCAS #Gastroparesis #lyme

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Mood Change?

My husband and I were having a conversation about mood yesterday - about CHANGING your mood. I remember the first time the idea was ever even presented to me that we can change our own mood. Wow. What a concept! I was nearly 50 years old at the time. How did I NOT know this? My old way, and sometimes still my habit, is to ride the mood until it leaves me and try to squeeze every ounce of misery from it, rise above it, and claim victory because it didn't kill me. NOW I know that the healthiest way to look at my mood is that it is transitory and I can speed that up. Sometimes it's a simple as visiting a place with beautiful things to see, or smell, or touch. I always feel better after a visit to a candle and gift store. Putting on music that makes me bounce and sing does it. Painting does it. I think it's sensory distraction that changes my mood better than anything else.

How about you? How do you change YOUR mood?

#ChronicIllness #lyme #mood #Sadness

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Thoughts on Being a Guest House

#lyme #ChronicIllness #rumi #Art #Healing

Rumi's poetry has always resonated with me and I've been thinking a lot about his poem, The Guest House. It is by far my favorite - so much so that I used a small piece of it as the epirgraph to my memoir Messages On the Mirror: Lovenotes and Lyme. It helps me to think of my life as a guest house.... every visitor brings something. It's like they leave a hostess gift, though sometimes the things they leave are undesireable at first blush. It took me a while to actually see that #lyme the guest who trashed my favorite room, actually turned out to gift me with the resolve needed accept certain changes and build a new life, discover new interests and develop unrealized talents.

Lyme trashed my house, so to speak.... Maybe the fact that I had to decide to clean things up and make things right was the gift.

A talent I have discovered and have been developing is that I am an artist. I have paired my favorite line with my favorite painting. The elephant was emerging from the dark into the light, painted during lockdowns in 2020.

You can read the poem here:

You can find my memoir about Lyme Disease here:

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Penny Wise Tip #Budget #money #ChronicIllness #lyme

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying harder to save money these days, and learning to make things myself in the face of worsening supply chain issues. Sharing my first easy hand soap - small batch: recipe on the bottle says I:3 ratio soap to water in a foaming soap pump.

This is already scented bc they were out of unscented (called baby Castile I think). When I find unscented I’ll add essential oils. 32 oz bottle at around $13 it's about $1.30 for an 8oz bottle of foaming hand soap. And it's better on my hands than anti-bacterial soaps. I’m planning to explore more recipes using more oils for moisturizing but this was a good first try.