Early on in my treatment I learned of a theory that believes you can’t fully get rid of your disease until you let go of all the emotional baggage tied to it. For me this was processing through everything traumatic that happened in my life since I was 14. I started EMDR therapy a couple of years ago and slowly processed through a bunch of stresses in my life. EMDR is traditionally used for people with PTSD but new research shows we all have trauma in our lives and EMDR is a safe and healthy way to process through those difficult memories.
For me a lot of my stresses were when I started to be sick, but no one really believed me and everyone just assumed I was tired because I was a teenager. I missed out on a lot of life because of my fatigue and struggled to connect with people because hugging was painful. I began shaming myself believing I wasn’t good enough and people didn’t want to be my friend. The emotional scars that Lyme left in my life were very deep and difficult because they go back to such and early age. Recently I reached a point where I graduated therapy. I’ve processed through my baggage and am at peace with where I’ve been and who I am today. I’m comfortable in my own skin and there is always an open door with my counselor if that changes. It feels really good to be where I am at in my life.
With my “relapse” I had to come to terms with the disease and even though I was embarrassed about the fact I was back in treatment I didn’t do anything to deserve being sick the first time or the second time. I can’t do anything to change what happened to me because it’s out of my control. I think giving up control and realizing stuff just happens in life was very powerful. This world is a broken place with a lot of sin, pain, destruction and disease. I didn’t “relapse” because God was punishing me, but rather because our world is imperfect and disease happens. I felt like a failure because I relapsed shortly after celebrating I was done with treatment. I didn’t want to tell my story time and time again trying hard to explain it to others. I just wanted to move forward and beat it again. The hardest aspect I had to deal with the fact that I let myself down and I thought I let others down who believed in me. The truth was, none of that was in my control and there is nothing I could have done to change it. Relapsing was a disappointment but helped me to feel more grounded. I’ve learned how to live life with my feet on the ground instead of floating along in a euphoric high. I am still happy and ecstatic about life but I have more realistic expectations and better know who I really am and what is important to me.
***I also have learned that my “relapse” wasn’t truly a relapse because I hadn’t cleared my jaw infection before finishing treatment the first time. But hindsight is always 20/20.