A is for Avoidance. This can be social avoidance or personal avoidance of dealing with what is right in front of you. My home is full of avoidance right now.
B is for Beating Oneself Up for everything you think you should have done, could have done, could have done differently, should have known, should have seen coming or should have dealt with already. This is me from the moment I wake up till I go to bed.
C is for the Courage to continue on every day hoping to feel better, making the right choices and accepting that you have a horrible disease, but you are still a valuable part of society.
D is for Denial. Denial comes at you from every direction and began way back when you were trying to figure out why you felt so awful. The medical field – DENIAL; insurance companies – DENIAL; family and friends – DENIAL till it finally makes you DENY that anything is really wrong.
E is for Effort. The enormous effort it takes to get out of bed each day and hope that this day is better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be even better.
F is for Flare Ups. The sooner you stop trying to pinpoint the “why” of a flare up, the better. Examples: is it the weather, is there a full moon, is it my Lyme cycle, is it because I went to the dentist, is it because I stayed up too late or got up too early, did I eat the wrong thing, did I not drink enough water, did I forget a supplement, did I up an herbal treatment, did I start a new medication, am I STRESSED? Who wouldn’t be with just that short list of reasons?
G is for Grace. We exemplify Grace by going out into the world each day and performing tasks with everyone else as if we are all the same. People in stores, on the highway and at the gym don’t know that I am having an anxiety attack at the thought of the exertion mentally and physically to accomplish what they do without a second thought.
H is for Happiness. Yep, I said Happiness. I look for it everywhere. Maybe you thought I was going to say Health, maybe I should have, but I went with the first H word that popped into my head. Here are a few things (other than family and friends) that make me happy: music, books, baking, sunrise, sunset, snow, trees swaying in the wind, squirrels running through the trees, flowers blooming, the gym, the library, walks outside, thunder and lightning and dancing.
I is for Indescribable. I don’t know about you, but I cannot begin to put into words the pain of Lyme disease. If it is not a headache, it is a muscle. If not a muscle, it is a tendon; maybe a joint or a limb or two limbs or your spine or your feet or fingers or your SKIN.
J is for Justice. There needs to be accountability for the powers that allow Lyme disease to continue to disable and cause the death of so many. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.
K is for Ketogenic diet. Cutting out sugar and grains has changed me in such a positive way. I no longer carry 50 pounds of inflammation weight and I do not have cravings.
L is for LDI (low dose immunotherapy). I started LDI last year and am still on the smallest possible dose spread out over months instead of 6-8 weeks, but I feel hopeful that this will help my body fight the Lyme.
M is for Mindfulness. This is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”. I don’t know if I will ever perfect this, but I continue to try.
N-Z tomorrow. Peace