I’m serious. Plodding about the house in your PJ’s and spending most of the day on the Internet isn’t going to do much to heal you from Lyme disease.
I know you’re tired and that it’s cold outside. I know the Internet is a comfy cozy place for finding companionship with other Lyme disease sufferers who can empathize with you. And maybe you feel that it’s not worth it to spend time with friends and family who don’t understand you anymore. You don’t even have the stamina to get up and meet them anyway, so why should you bother?
Because the walls are closing in. The dark, musty walls of your bedroom, or living room, are confining you, whether you realize it or not. They are subtracting from your joy, bit by bit, as your scenery in life becomes relegated to your household furniture, and your friendships limited to people you’ve never seen.
Don’t get me wrong; making friends with other Lyme disease sufferers on the Internet is crucial for our healing and survival. What would we do without them to lift us up and help us with the latest remedies for treating borrelia? How would we ever survive if we believed that we were alone in this mess of chronic illness?
But some of us are drowning in our disease. We’re allowing it to keep us confined, isolated and away from other things in life. Connections with our Lyme friends keep us submerged in thoughts of our disease as each day, we have less and less in common with those in the “real world.”
It is often said that you become what you think about. Staying cooped up inside the house all day, surfing the net for the latest Lyme news and Lyme friends, is a sure recipe for thinking thoughts of disease and, perhaps, is part of what’s keeping you sick.
I know you hurt and getting about is an effort, but I encourage you to bundle up and get out into the sunshine. Sit on your front porch or do some yoga in the backyard if you can’t make it very far. Just get out of the house. Find a coffee shop that’s only five minutes away and invite a friend to some decaf tea. Go to the library and dig up some new books to read. Just don’t stay inside all day if you can help it.
Next, make friends with a few folks who don’t have Lyme disease. Find ones who aren’t impatient for recreation and expensive diversions. Obviously, it’s helpful to make friends with those who can understand your limitations, but even if you find ones who don’t, if you can enjoy being with them for other reasons, such as to share a good joke or to talk about another interest you have in common, perhaps your religion, this can be beneficial. By broadening your horizons, it will give you a break from incessant thoughts of Lyme, and help you to remember that your life doesn’t have to be all about your disease.