Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day Six, Checking In

It's a Friday night after a long and grueling week of treatment. I'm incredibly grateful that I wrapped things up at my job and said my goodbyes before I started the meds, because there is no way whatsoever I could have worked (even one day!) this week.

I've done very little other than lay in my bed all week, and often when I lay in my bed trying to sleep, I can't. Every night this week, I became wildly, wide awake at 3 a.m. That definitely never happened before I started these meds. The insomnia, sweating, and head issues lead me to believe a lot of detoxification is occurring in my body. Things are going as they should, so I'm excited about that!

One thing that's dwelled on my mind all week is the need to clean the clutter and stress out of my life. I've read in multiple sources that stress and negativity will literally prevent the medications from curing Lyme disease, and that in order to actually heal from this disease, it's absolutely imperative that a person be relaxed. A stressful incident can physically trigger the borrelia spirochetes to strengthen their hold in my body, even if I've already weakened and killed many of them.

So I'm making a very conscientious effort to simplify, purify, and detoxify my life.

I won't go back to work until I am recovered, it's that simple. I won't try to socialize when I don't feel well. I will avoid involving myself in any and all drama that my friends may inadvertently throw at me by way of their challenging circumstances. I will continue to eat nutritious foods, stretch my legs outdoors, and do core-strengthening exercises on a daily basis. I won't try too hard to please others, but rather, will put myself first. I will give lots of love out--to my friends, my cats, my plants and flowers, and by the process of giving love, I will experience its euphoric and immune-boosting benefits. I will not let my brain fog, restlessness, or fatigue get me down. I will not forget to take my pills, or avoid them out of fear of side effects. I will look to a bright tomorrow.

I've been practicing all of the above for the past week, and need to remember to practice all of it for the remainder of my life. There will always be tough times, but that's no excuse to stop. Ever.

The American culture, surely harmful to just about everyone, has been particularly harmful to me. It's a culture in which we over-extend ourselves, push ourselves to the limit, eat too much sugar, drink too much alcohol, and don't sleep enough. Our culture thrives on working long hours in stressful, unhealthy jobs to make lots of money we can then spend on a bunch of useless crap we don't need. We eat pizza and cheeseburgers, drink beer and soda, and glorify shallow, meaningless and trashy behavior.

Well, at 29, American culture has taken enough of a toll on me. I'm sick of it all! I gain nothing from drunken nights on the town, or sitting at a stressful desk job all freakin' day, or eating poisonous, toxic "food", or associating with shallow people who only care about their manicures and what's happening on Jersey Shore. Omg! Life shouldn't be about money, image, pop culture, popularity, or excess of any sort. Life should be about balance.

So I'm done pushing myself to do all the trivial and excessive things I've been conditioned by this toxic society to think I need to do. Call me anti-social, call me reclusive, call me anything you want, but I may do a little more healing (and a little less texting) from now on.

The last couple of years ('09-'11) have been particularly brutal, not just because my diseases were undiagnosed, but because I pushed myself way too hard. Employed full-time at a tiny company, I handled partnerships, program development and training, partner fee negotiating and invoicing, graphic design for our website, newsletters, brochure and collateral design, customer service, marketing, direct mail campaigning, and more.

Meanwhile, outside of work, I practiced weekly in a band that I started and developed from the ground up over the last six years; the band recorded and put out a CD in 2009, which we toured locally to promote; I regularly fostered kittens until they found homes, trapped and neutered feral cats in my neighborhood; I moved twice in the last two years, bought a house one of those times; traveled all over the country for work or pleasure; experienced some romances and some heartbreak; and tried way too hard to please everybody but myself.

In the midst of it all, I didn't sleep well, I didn't eat well, and I needed to increase my Cymbalta (anti-anxiety medication) dosage, in addition to increasing my coffee consumption. I didn't even notice my gradual decline, my gradual and steady deterioration. All I knew was that I was making more money than I'd ever made, and the Cymbalta and daily coffee and sugary treats kept me going!!

It all came to a head around these past holidays. I knew I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It's not to say I was clinically depressed, but by the same token, I wasn't happy either. The Lyme diagnosis (and all its co-infections), which came in early January, was a blessing of many sorts. It has allowed me to put a stop to the madness.

I encourage all of you, diseases or no diseases, to take a long, hard look at your lives and evaluate what's harming you. Then get rid of it.

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