Lately, I have been struggling with the fact that my life has changed. When I first started treatment for Lyme disease, my mindset was that I get through this. I was willing to put in the time. I figured a year would be sufficient. I tested CDC positive for Lyme; I tested negative for the big 3 co-infections. Assuming that the results were correct, I set my mind to healing.
I still worked but my boss gave me the utmost flexibility to leave as needed and/or take absences as needed. I didn’t attend as many social events. I tried to get my proverbial plate as empty as possible. And, I made progress. I did. The backaches subsided, the intense daily neck pain finally went away, the migraines became less frequent, the exhaustion became manageable. All of this was great. Then, I guess I hit a plateau.
So, here I am. I am not 100%. Honestly, inside I feel about 40% of my old self. Outside, I think people actually see me as almost 80%. I am a great faker and a great lier when it comes to the presentation of myself to the outside world. I am sure this is the case for all of us with a chronic disease. But since school started this fall, I feel like I am backsliding. The extreme exhaustion is creeping back in.
I have started seeing my my life from the outside. It is a weird feeling. Does anyone else have bouts of this? I don’t think it is disassociative disorder, but maybe just parts of it. Sometimes, in order to get through the day and what it entails, I separate myself from my physical body. Creepy! No, not in a creepy way! When I do this, I feel like I can make it. It is as if I am managing my symptoms from the outside with less attachment to the pain and whatever discomfort is going on at that minute. The problem is though that I have been doing this for a few weeks now and it is starting to feel like I have two different lives. I just don’t know how to explain it well. Really, though, does anyone else have this going on or something similar?
It’s almost as if, when I do this, the separation, that I am looking at my life and my actions in a snowglobe. Sorry, it’s the best analogy I can think of! 🙂 I am guessing this is a coping mechanism the brain sets up. However, I just don’t want it to become a rabbit hole. Also, I am concerned that this snowglobe effect will become a crutch in the sense that at this point in time, I am not dealing well with the fact that I am now 19 months into treatment and I have hit a wall. Like everyone else with Lyme and chronic disease, this wasn’t my PLAN!
I am hoping all of you out there are having better days than not. Drop me a comment in regards to this thing I have going on with me mentally if you feel comfortable doing so. I appreciate any and all comments!
Happy weekend, pumpkins – B
I understand what you are describing and I do think it’s a coping mechanism. I’ve been thinking of similar things myself regarding my day to day and dealing with constant pain and symptom surveillance. I think of it this way: There is the “me” that has always been, since I was a child, that still exists. My Soul, or infinite self. I often struggle with connecting with this part of myself because of the sickness. Then there is the Body. This vehicle I’ve been given to inhabit for this lifetime. The Body has millions of issues going on everyday. No one seems to really understand what it wrong with it. There are multiple things. Then there is the Mind. The Mind spends its entire day trying to figure out what is wrong with the Body. The Mind has been working on this for over four years and usually just runs in circles that end nowhere. When I am inhabiting only the Mind and the Body I get worse and suffer. When I can rarely remember that there is still a soul within me, and even better if I can inhabit it, I gain a larger perspective. I think the idea of a snow globe life is a great metaphor in dealing with chronic illness. We must have occasional periods of relief in order to survive. The snowglobe thing is a way of saying, “There is more to me than what is going on with the Mind and the Body. So although you didn’t ask, what I think you are doing is developing a healthy tool to deal with your illness. And now you’ve passed it on to me as well. So thank you.
I don’t think I do it exactly like this, but I know what you mean about the mind/body separation. I have a very clear distinction between what’s *me* and what’s *my body*, and even the craziness I have from the infections and meds come under *the body*. I asked my partner if it was normal to see yourself as being completely separate from your body, like your body has nothing to do with you, and the answer was no…. So I guess it’s a chornic illness thing.
I think if I felt like I was my body, then I would feel like *I* was sick, and then maybe I’d be depressed? I don’t feel depressed though, my body is broken, but *I’m* ok.
I see what you mean, it’s very hard to explain!
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Hi Louise! How are you doing? Thanks for your comment. Honestly, it is just nice to know I am not alone in having some of these detached feelings. They are new to me on my journey.
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I totally understand the depersonalizations it’s like watching yourself in a movie or something. It’s like get back together brain and body! Ugh
Hi, yes! That is a great way to describe the feeling. I wonder if it is a coping mechanism or if it is just another symptom of Lyme. Thanks for visiting!
I think it’s the lyme. 😦
Ugh. I know. Unlike! 😦