I met a woman recently, who asked me what I blog about and I told her that I primarily write about Food, Travel, and overcoming what holds you back to do what you love. What holds me back is Lyme Disease and more and more I've began to write about my life, living with Lyme Disease.
She smiled and was so excited about this, more than I'd ever heard anyone be excited about me having Lyme. But her excitement wasn't about me having a chronic illness, but it was about the fact that I have chosen to share my Lyme story with my blog readers.
I really thought deeply about what she was saying to me and why.
My new friend is a recovering addict, her addiction was alcohol and at this event that I attended, she shared her story of addiction and her husband shared his story of living with someone with her illness. Addiction is an illness.
Her story was one I'd heard from others, a wife with a beautiful family and successful career who struggled with addiction.
To be completely honest, I didn't want to attend the event. It was a fundraiser for a rehab house and I went in with a negative feeling about addiction and treatment. I was wrong.
My feelings about addicts comes from a long history of being a family member, a friend, a caregiver for addicts and the abuse that often comes from fighting their disease. But I left knowing something more about addiction and relating it more to the fight that I deal with in having my own life illness that I know my family struggles with as well.
The more that I listened to the stories of families who struggled, whose life changed because of their family member's illness, the more I related to how my life and that of my family and friends. Even though there are some stark differences between Lyme and Addiction, both are a lifetime illness that change the way you travel, eat, drink, entertain, and what you do when you are so stressed out that you just don't know which direction to turn.
Becoming addicted to pain killers, alcohol, antidepressants, food, anything to cope isn't as hard as I once imagined. In fact in researching for this article there are lots of studies being done to actually identify statistics between Lyme Disease and Addiction. Lyme disease carries depression, anxiety, and pain along with it like a noose. It is highly likely that may Lymies also become addicted to something in their journey with this disease.
When she said that she loved that I shared a story that was not one that many know, the life of someone who lives with Lyme Disease, I thought more about my blogging and who I hope to reach out to. Yes, my blog is for everyone. But there are those, like myself, with Lyme Disease that often feel so alone, desperate for more information, feeling hopeless that we will eventually die by this disease.
Writing about my symptoms used to be stressful, I felt like the more focus I gave so much energy into feeling bad.
Then I realized one day that when I tell my Lyme story, others come forward with theirs. They tell me about their daughters, husbands, friends, and more. They talk about their struggles, their fears, and they see that they are not alone in the dark.
Dancing with Fireflies is about telling stories, sharing experiences, giving light in the darkness. We all are going through something, by sharing our stories we begin to see the lights out there on the horizon. Other lights just like our own, there we dance, there we come together and make each other strong. Just like fireflies in the night, a beautiful sea of sparkling lights dancing to music that only we hear.