If it’s possible to simultaneously feel multiple opposing emotions about sickness, then that is how I would describe myself throughout most of my battle with Lyme Disease. I feel both terribly weak and incredibly strong at the exact same time. I experience a great sense of loss of my former self, but somehow have gratefulness deeply rooted in my heart. I feel depleted in energy, yet have never felt more satisfied in my life. I wrestle with the notion that I am failing in my quest to overcome this illness. At a moments notice however, the tiniest step forward can leave me feeling victorious. I have also known a heart-breaking kind of loneliness, the kind that can only be understood if you are separated from those things and people that you love most in life. Without such great loneliness though, I never would have encountered such a profound sense of love.
In spite of being ill, failing, lonely, struggling, empty and weak, I am still lovable. My mind tries to comprehend and my heart attempts to absorb the magnitude of knowing that just simply because I came to be on this earth, I am unconditionally loved. With my merits gone and my vulnerabilities on display, this revelation came to me. Somewhere between fighting for my life and realizing I have a second chance at it, I changed. My core, my spirit, the very deepest places of me, have changed. I now walk this journey equipped with the knowledge that my lowest lows and biggest mistakes are wrapped so tightly in a powerful love of which I will never escape.
Would I have come to understand this truth without my illness? I do not know, but I am thankful for the lessons learned during my most painstaking days. I no longer feel the persistent urge to work harder, try harder or push myself more to heal. Contentment has finally settled into my heart.