Waking up with a chronic illness every day is the usual set of problems, the symptoms may change but the limitations are fairly consistent. The beginning and end of the day are hardest for me. When I wake up, I know I have another day of the same fight, the same disease, and when I go to bed I review a day in my head that wasn’t what I wanted it to be. This cycle of monotony is enough to tear apart even the most resilient people. To endure short term suffering is fairly easy, but to sustain long term hardship is hard to describe.
Wise people tell me to find my small successes in a day. They tell me to look for what things went right, silver linings, and to keep looking at what moves forward. Some days, it works— but honestly, it’s not always enough for me.
I have to return to find a part of me that isn’t easy to get to.
When I am going through a cycle of every day short comings and failures, it’s very easy to keep getting lower and lower. The problem with the cycle is that you are the only way out and when it’s up to you, you don’t want to.
I’m no master but in my cycle, I call it going into the storm. I lay in a dark room, cry, put myself deep into my misery. I let myself go through what I feel like I need in that moment. It’s a low point, but I believe this release of emotions is essential. After I give into the storm, I put my big girl pants back on. I was not made for being sad or feeling like a failure. Although that may be temporary me, it isn’t who I actually am.
Before I became sick, I knew I could take on the world and no illness has changed that plan. Now it just means that plan will be even more impressive when I do succeed. I’m not any less sick when I get up, but I am rested and determined to win again. Win the day, win the illness, win for awareness, whatever is in front of me. Nothing has changed, except that I’m not fighting to stay strong.
I’ve been weak but the warrior in me has had time to rest and return to battle.
One of my favorite quotes says,
“Instead of learning to quit, learn to rest.”
Its frequently overshadowed, but that person who never gives up is always inside me. The outside may be beaten, battered, and significantly damaged, but the warrior in me never truly leaves. Many people veer away from hardship, but I have learned that going through the eye of the storm is a shorter path to sunshine.
*If you are passionate about Lyme, check out Lauren’s website: Lyme Warrior to learn about various ways to advocate for Lyme Disease.
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