I Travel Because… Screw You Lyme!

What is stopping you from doing the things you dreamed of doing?  Do you dream of travel around the world?  What about learning something new? How about a tattoo? Are you stopping from living your life fulfilled?

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Recently,I was in for a regular B12 shot, something that has helped my Lyme disease and fatigue that comes with it. The nurse, my friend Janie, always asks about my adventures and what I’ve been doing in the weeks since I’ve seen her last. I always notice the look in her eyes.

“Well, I’ve been in London, Las Vegas, and got a new tattoo.”

She was excited and wanted to hear all about it. But more, for the first time, she admitted that she’d always wanted to travel and secretly always wanted a tattoo.

“I know what I want… a dolphin jumping over a rainbow.”

I teased that her tattoo was so 1980 and we both laughed.

“Do it! Get a tattoo.  I’ll go with you if you want.”  The truth is, I completely understood why she held back. A lot of us hold back for reasons we really don’t even understand ourselves,  This inner dialogue that tells us to “be good” or not to take risks.

Why?

I know this pressure as a woman.  I grew up with Southern Baptist Conservative Guilt. There was always this notion of “What will others think” that was supposed to stop you from making mistakes and keep you from doing things like getting tattoos and sleeping around.  Not eating the ice cream because you don’t want to get fat.

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What is stopping you from living the life you dream?  The one you ache to have? Why are you letting that control you?

I’m all grown up now, and I honestly don’t care what others think. THEY aren’t living my life.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Why not travel? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Why not BE the person that you want to be?

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I was honestly so depressed and scared.  I would wake up in the middle of the night in tears thinking about never getting to see my children get married.  Never getting to hold grandchildren.  I was terrified of the facts of my disease.

At my diagnosis I was handed the future.

  • Loss of muscle control
  • Tremors
  • Weak Immune System
  • pain and fatigue
  • bedridden
  • organ failure
  • pneumonia
  • death

I cried all the time.  One morning I finally got tired of crying and sought out a therapist who changed everything.

“What’s the worst thing that can happen to you with this disease?” she asked me on our first meeting?

Looking back, she was asking a different question. She honestly had no idea what Lyme disease was and was asking for clarification.  I heard the one I needed to hear. To me, I heard a challenge.

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Death!

Of all the things that could happen to me on my list of terrible things that I’d been crying about, Death was the last one.   It should always be.

You can’t get away from Death. No matter how many tears you shed, Death isn’t going away.  Stop giving it the power to change your LIFE.

The moment that I realized that I had a whole lot of LIVING to do before death happened, was the moment I stopped DYING from Lyme Disease.

Screw You, Lyme!

I’ve learned to stand up for myself against a disease that wanted to tear me apart day by day.  Standing up to it meant not giving in to its demands.

In the past, I had taken to my bed a few times.  It would have been easy to stay there. But… screw you Lyme. I have a life.  So I got up, sometimes only making it as far as the couch. Yet I refused to be forgotten, left behind. Often I slept on the couch, and my family went on around me.  I was there when they needed me.

I made plans.  Held parties. Went on vacations.

I took it slow. I gave myself time to rest. A little at a time, I kept living.

Tattoos and exploring are my F You to my disease

Last month,I got a new tattoo.  A compass and an arrow.  My navigation is pointing me away from doctor’s offices, injections, and being sick. It is a reminder that I am more than four pills a day and a body shape that frustrates me.

Nothing about it says “You aren’t going to make it. Give up now.”

It says to me… no matter where you go, you did it. You were brave and battled hard. You followed your arrow and those people that love you will never let you get lost, you will always find your way back home.

Today, I sit on trains and look out windows, I see the world and add memories to my life. Not days lost.

Book your adventures, pay for them as long as you need. Set your sights on where you want to be and Go. Because the worst thing I can imagine is getting to the end of my life with a list of things I could have done, but didn’t.

Crysta-Sig

Why do YOU travel?

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