The fog in my brain swirled endlessly, my head felt twice it’s size and weight. Every joint in my body wept and my spine felt like it was made of wood, unable to bend in any direction when I awoke each morning. Every day I waded through the sludge of deep fatigue, sometimes wondering how I would make it from one room to the next. Every corner of my body seemed broken and I felt like I was dying.
With tunnel vision focus I aimed all my energy on not dying. I dragged myself to five appointments each week, visiting two different chiropractors, receiving bio-resonance and massages, seeing my naturopath, and in between the appointments and sleeping, swallowed 80 supplement pills a day (a lot of them unnecessarily self-prescribed), juiced fruits and vegetables, and filtered gallons of water to drink. I stubbornly hung on to drinking a glass of wine (or two) in the evenings…something may as well be enjoyable. And all the time I was quietly repeating in my head, “I will not die, I will not die.”
The rest of my day was spent on the couch, wrapped in blankets and lying on a magnetic pad. I had never reached out to the Lyme community for support before (I don’t need anyone’s help – ha!), but this was different…I felt like I was dying, and miserably, I surrendered to support. I connected via Facebook and a Yahoo group into large online communities of people struggling with Chronic Lyme and tick-borne illnesses, and read their postings with wide-eyes. These folks knew their stuff, sharing information like scientists, knowledgeable about testing, and a myriad of treatment protocols being offered across the board, from allopathic to natural. I felt like a kindergartner that had just landed in grad school.
With my sorely challenged brain I followed their lead, researching fanatically, unable to mentally retrieve all I had read, but continuing my research anyway. I had to stay alive.
I began to post questions and learn, sometimes receiving support, sometimes offering it. That always felt good, the giving and receiving. I was repeatedly shocked to learn about what other people were dealing with, and I became committed to shed light on this overlooked community and disease.
One day my withering brain burped out a quote I’d heard a hundred times before, “What you resist persists.” Aargh! How had I not seen what I was doing?! I don’t know how it happens or if there are some special steps to the place of surrender, but remembering that quote was part of it. I made peace with dying. It was not surrendering to the illness, it was not a wanting to die, it was simply making peace with myself, knowing that should I die, something good could come out of it. Lives would be immediately and deeply impacted, and word about Lyme and its possible outcome would be known to more people, and perhaps make a difference to someone else. I could live or die with that.
There was no longer anything to resist. My mind disentangled itself from the energy drain of resistance and fear, leaving an empty space for something else to show up in. For me it was peace.
With the new found peace, unbeknownst to me, I was perfectly poised to receive my next lesson.