“There are no endings, only new beginnings.”

Family, loved ones–the one’s that mean the world and more to us. The one’s that make us feel worth it, worth this fight we’re going through. The one’s that want to be by your side, always, but find ourselves becoming farther and farther away from.

Whether we’re just trying to save them from seeing the pain or to save ourselves from ourselves, we’re doing just the opposite. And the times they think they understand and tell you to try doing this, go do that, to try and “get your mind off things”, just make you feel worse, helpless. You try with all your might to forget the pain, forget that you’re on the path that you’re feet have currently been planted on. You’re just stuck. And you just wish you can wake yourself up, yell at your body to stop being this way, preventing you from do thing things you enjoy, being with the people you love and miss so terribly.

It’s not always dark. Every chronic illness fighter see’s the light, the good, from time to time. It might not happen as much as it used to, but you certainly have not forgotten about the precious, simple joys in your life. And that’s why you’ve hanged on this long, because you remember. You remember when. At times, it hurts. Memories can be very painful, but it’s the tougher times that we’ll look back on and smile, maybe even laugh at. Because these difficult times, these particular dark times made you the person you are today, even if you’re still fighting to get your life back. Most importantly, even when you’re not given an answer or any reasoning for this disease, any of this, even when you feel like you’re holding on to nothing but air at times, you can and will see the joy in things. The simple things. The smile on your friends faces again when they finally hear from you. The warmth of hugs that you never want to stop feeling. The laughter roaring around you from old jokes and “Remember that time…”. It all seems so far away, so out of reach—but we forget that this disease, this illness is not us, that it’s not our fault and we deserve to be happy. We DON’T deserve to torture ourselves, shutting ourselves out from the world, even when we feel like it’s the right thing to do. And the happier memories, the ones that you constantly think about and maybe even make you shed a few tears, those are the memories worth hanging on to. Not the pained memories when you felt you were losing everyone around you or the times you felt nothing but guilty, like you could have, should have prevented this, somehow.

But even after you reach out, reconnect, the fear of rejection, losing all support and contact all over again, are not far from your mind. We need to be prepared, yet not focus on the worst. We have to realize that what we’re going through, this fight, is not easy for anyone else to just take on like that. A friend may want to see you, but you don’t want them to see you at your worst. You want them to remember how you were before this disease has taken such a toll on you. You might be nervous about catching up over the phone, as well. What if you run out of things to say? We can’t help but think the worst. We go through a period where we just shut out everyone and everything. You then take this big step, communicating with the ones you thought had long forgotten you, the ones you thought had given up on you, your friendship, your memories. But you don’t want to think about all the memories, all the good times. You want them back, you want your life back. And you want to start over again, even if reconnecting was too much to bear for either you or your loved ones. You will start again, with or without them. There are plenty of new memories to be made, to be cherished, whether you want to believe it or not, with new faces that actually understand. But if you have that chance to rekindle a friendship, a relationship–would you face the risk of losing them all over again?

Hang on to the ones you have now, the ones that have shown you just how much you are worth to them, hang on to THIS moment in time—because anything can happen. Let loved ones be there for you. And no matter what, never blame yourself over their reactions. You were just trying to protect them from seeing the pain. And if they can’t understand how much love, how much respect you have towards them, just surround yourself by the positive loved ones in your life who are able to understand. But most importantly, forgive them. Forgive the ones who just couldn’t bear to conquer this temporary journey with you. There’s no reason to go around with such a burden in both your heart or theirs.

When you feel like you’ve lost everything, after reaching out, reconnecting–you haven’t. Just think of it as they were never there to lose in the first place. That doesn’t necessarily mean to forget them. Forgetting won’t ease the pain, but you do need to put yourself before others, for your health’s sake. Whatever happens, happens– but this isn’t the end. This isn’t the end for you. You haven’t even begun. No matter what age you are, what illness you’ve been diagnosed with, what stage you’re at with your illness, you haven’t even begun. Life is short. Forgive. Start over, if you must. And, begin again. Continue your fight. Don’t stop. Lyme DOES take time. If only everyone knew how much time it has consumed from you, from your day-to-day life, maybe they’d understand just how much patience, how much time you really do need dealing with this disease. Or maybe it’s for the best that they’ll never truly know. We don’t want to cause more pain, we just want to be understood.

We WILL get the treatment we deserve!

We WILL give this disease the awareness it deserves!

We WILL NOT stop fighting!

Healing thoughts and prayers to all-

Kate

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