From all this my therapist has told me that it is ok to grieve the loss of leaving my mission early, he has also told me to try and retell my story and share the though parts when I feel like I can. Now for me that was a very tall order. I don't like talking about myself and I don't like people being up in my business about things. In fact, if I had it my way I would rather pretend I didn't have the disease at all and just pretend that everything was hunky dory and dandy. Unfortunately I tried that and I got more and more depressed.
Here is a fact about me... I am either really bad at faking it, or I do such a good job that I end up hating myself and getting more and more down because I know I'm faking it and not making it, so that just makes me fake. And I do not like fake people. When I explained this to my therapist. He told me that like a person who loses a loved one unexpectedly, I lost something to me, unexpectedly. I lost 6 months of time that, to my culture, was one of the greatest and noblest things you will ever do. And that I loved. He explained that I am in the grieving process right now. And that even though I didn't lose someone, I lost something. And I am grieving. When he explained this, my impatient self answered back and said, "Well how long does this grieving process last? Because I'd kinda like to get my life back together." Of course, just like someone loses a loved one, it isn't as simple as bushing yourself off and saying: "I'm good!"
The best thing that I have found to help me during this grieving process, as well as my illness is to take it by the hour. People sometimes ask me if I have good days and bad days. I tell them that it is more like good hours and bad hours. The evening hours are much more harder, because I have exhausted myself to stay somewhat normal during the morning and afternoon hours. So I take things hour by hour. And when I do that, I find I appreciate things more.
It is also helpful because I might wake up and be so tired and just exhausted. I can wake up and say "This is going to be a bad day." And write it off and just let the whole day be bad. Or I can accept that I am tired, but hope that as I get going I can make it that some of my medication will kick in and I will be ok in an hour or so. It doesn't let me have a whole bad day. And it helps.
|HA! If only it were this easy!|
Ya see, it would be nice to just blame it all on the Disease. To just blame the tick. But the grieving and PTSD came from me leaving so suddenly, and the shock of being home early, those are in a way the ticks fault. But the fact that I can't shake it off and move on, the fact that it is dragging me down, are those the ticks fault? Or mine? I guess part of this is just accepting that Lyme Disease is part of my new identity for now, and I say that a lot of things are the hardest part. But THAT really is the hardest part. Everyone at different points in their life asks "Who am I?" Well, am I this chronic illness? Am I PTSD? Am I depressed? Am I grieving? Or does the Disease make me depressed? Does the disease make me have PTSD? Does the Disease make me grieve? Or are those things I bring on myself...?
|All in all, this is how I feel. And though I can never actually say these things... I feel at least one of these ways, every hour.|
-The Lyme Warrior