Setting: my bedroom
Time: around 10:30pm on any random day of the week.
I've just taken all my medicine for the night. Read my scriptures, prayed, and lights are out. Time to sleep right?... Right? Well, ya'd think so, but oh no! My brain decides to kick into speedy fast mode, and next thing I know, I am no longer in my bed.Physically I know I still am. But mentally I am in Hartsville SC, I look down and I see the name tag, I'm in a skirt, and I am sitting across from my companion in our cottage... I feel a thrill of excitement and for a moment I really can see it all! It's so real! I am back on the mission with Sister Eames!!
Then suddenly it changes a little and I'm still a missionary, I still have that name tag, but I'm sitting alone on a blue pad in the white room known to me as "the dreaded room 9". I can look out the little window of the door and see Sister Eames staring at me through the window, and a security guard right outside the door as well. I can smell the hospital, and feel my heart racing as I know what's happening to me and what I have to do and calmly say to convince the Dr, that stands in front of me, that I'm not as crazy as I sound from the other Dr who sent me to this dreaded room.
A thousand miles away I am shaking my head saying no you are in your bed trying to sleep! For a second I gain control of my bearings and I wonder why the medicine isn't kicking in faster to make me fall asleep.
Then it changes again I am back in the Hartsville cottage that we lived in. It's night time and I suddenly feel a wave of anger that isn't me, but it's so real in that moment. I am angry at my companion. As she is begging me, across the room in her own bed, to go take some my antidepressants, I yell at her in frustration and slam the door as I stomp out to go take it. I punch a wall to let the anger out. My knuckles start to bleed. Then I go back to the bed and start to break down in sobs, apologizing over and over again to my companion. I'm sobbing for real in my own bed, but also in this memory. It's all so real.
Then it changes again. I'm still in the cottage, it's night time but the light is on... Sister Eames asks me a question, it's the one I absolutely dread. I start to cry and answer yes, knowing the events that my answer will lead up to. I try so hard to force myself out of this memory. But it is so real! And I know I'll have to relive it all so I just cry in my own bed and wait for it to be all over.The memory finally changes and I'm sitting in a room in the Stake center in Florence. I am telling President Holm everything. I can hear everyone else singing in the Chapel, waiting for the last zone conference with our Mission President and his wife, before they go home... It was my last as well.
Memory after memory comes and goes, but they are all so real! The packing up, saying goodbye to members, a convert, to less actives, and the worst, a companion who has put up with me and my craziness for so long, yet who I am so grateful for in so many ways words cannot express. It's weird how I remember those days flying by, but now in my bed they are painfully dragged out. In the memory I feel absolute sorrow and confusion in having to leave. In my bed I feel numb and exhausted. The worst part arrives, I pack up, I say goodbye and leave my companion. I drive to Columbia. I sleep, I wake up, I pretend to eat, I can't. Then I am crying on the phone in the mission office to my parents, telling them to not have anyone else at the airport. I am hugging my mission president in my last interview. I am flying home. I open my airplane book 3 times but can't read any of it, and though I try several times, I won't read any of it until about 5 months later.
Finally it ends with me walking out to my family in the airport. Finally I am able to be in my own bed again. Mentally and physically I'm home. I have to remind myself the month it really is, how long I've really been home. I remind myself that I have Lyme Disease. That it's all the ticks fault. Blame the tick... Blame the tick... Blame the tick... I try to calm down my breathing. I'm crying and sweating really bad.
It takes me about 20 more minutes to calm down. The clock now says 12:15am. I am out of breath and exhausted, but I am ripped in half. The sickest part is I love the fact that it is almost so real, it's like I am really a missionary again. And I get to be there. That is also the hard part, I get about 10% of good memories, but the ones I have to live are so hard they leave me sobbing and trying to get a feel of reality. I try not to think too much about how much of a wreck I am. And think, at least it won't happen for another week or so. That calms me down a little more and I can then feel my medicine start to kick in. I start to relax more and finally I can go to sleep......
That is just a tiny explanation of the flashbacks that I still get. They happen 1 or 2 times a week. They are awful, and occasionally wonderful, when I get a mix of a happy memory, but not. I have no words to describe how I feel towards the flashbacks that I get. They have nothing to do with Lyme Disease, but everything to do with traumatic events. And when I first started getting them I thought I was crazy. That I was in control and was letting myself just stroll down memory lane and visit those bad memories. But it became apparent I couldn't stop once I started. So Lyme Disease caused me to come home early, thus causing trauma, then causing me to have flashbacks that I am now having to relive weekly. Lyme Disease isn't making the flashbacks happen, nor did it make the trauma happen. But because I have Lyme Disease, it made me leave the mission, which is the trauma, which causes the flashbacks now.
-The Lyme Warrior