Today was one of many days when I leaned outward for support and found many arms and hearts ready to receive me. I want to acknowledge how much of a difference they have made in my life and my experience of Lyme disease. For example, earlier today I was trying to work on a paper and a headache struck. I felt tired and ready to give up. And then I thought, maybe I just need someone to remind me of how and why I am strong. I talked to a friend on instant message, asked for help, and they freely gave of their time and support.
So I want to take a minute to step back and write a letter of thanks. It will do me good and maybe some of the people who deserve it will read this.
- Thank you to all of the people who have listened to me when I just needed to talk. Some of you have offered solutions, others sympathy, others stories of your own. Some of you I have met, others I only know through this blog. Thank you for not making me feel bad about complaining, not making me feel weak for crying, not making me feel cowardly for admitting my fears, not making me feel hopeless for raging against what I cannot control, not making me feel sorry for telling the truth.
- Thank you to all of the people who have helped me when I was in pain. Some of you have distracted me, massaged me, provided knowledge and treatments. My husband’s touch magically releases me, my friend’s hugs lift me up.
- Thank you to all of the people who have helped me learn from my disease. Some of you have studied Lyme, found information for me, been a sounding board as I made decisions. Some of you have shared your expertise with me, answered my questions, asked your own. Some of you have pointed out things I should read, new ways of thinking, acceptance, and opportunities for personal growth.
- Thank you to all of the people who have given me strength. Whether you tell me I am tough, cheer me on, expect the world of me, teach me, or give me a foundation of love and support you are helping me continue through each day.
- Thank you to all of the people who have helped me to excel at work. Your support has created new collaborations and opportunities, made old partnerships successful, and helped to provide the momentum for me to continue to do impactful research on problems I care about.
- Thank you to those who have advocated for me, politically and personally, nationally and locally. Your knowledgeable support is essential for my future and that of others with Lyme disease.
- Thank you to everyone who has accepted me as I am and taken care of me. Whether it’s the laundry, food, help with the kids, a ride home, or understanding about an emotional outburst or missed card or gift, you have made my burdens easier to bear.
- And of course … I would be remiss if I didn’t say … Thank you to everyone who celebrates with me when I am feeling well! I share your joy at those times.
I wonder sometimes if I am strong enough to do this. But then I remember that I am stronger than any one person alone can be, thanks to all of you.