Enough of the lights at night time! There are no curtains in my home that block out any light so the nights are filled with the glaring lights from outside. After years of this, I finally got smart and decided to wear an eye mask to block it all out. It is not the neighbor’s responsibility to deal with it, it is my responsibility. More than willing to take responsibility for my life and my problems. Problem solved. Is life ever really that easy?

Of course not.

Two months of my new found solution to a long-term problem and it ends up more complicated than ever. The main outdoor light bulb from the neighborhood that glares through my bedroom window went out last night in the middle of the night. I woke up during the night like I always do several times a night. For some reason, I pulled the eye mask away from one eye and realized it was darker in my bedroom than I have ever seen it before. What was most shocking is that it was darker in the room than behind the mask with my eyes closed. What the heck????

Literally, no-nonsense, it seriously was lighter with the mask on and with my eyes closed. That is backward. That makes no sense. I spent the next couple of hours on this. I am awake for hours at night anyway, might as well solve this puzzle.

Lyme Disease is my only explanation. It creates neurological problems that are endless and aggravating and nonsensical at times. I will chalk it up to that. With my eyes closed and the eye mask fitted tightly to my face, I tested this out. I watched the lights come and go and move and dim and brighten and flicker. It was kind of wild as I was paying such close attention to the details of it.

I have always had lights in my eyes at night so I have never noticed the contrast until last night. Having neurological Lyme Disease since early childhood, I actually do not have a memory of darkness at night. Until I woke up with the room so much darker, it never really stood out to me to this degree.

I was in a ladies group about a month ago when one of them mentioned a sister who was complaining about being chronically ill and having problems with “lights” in her vision at nighttime when lights were out. I wanted to burst out laughing and jumping up and down with my new revelation. I thought EVERYONE saw lights in their vision at night. I have lived with this for so long that I have no memory of it ever being different. I have had a month to ponder that revelation. Then last night when I had darkness in my room I started putting the puzzle pieces together.

So, is it the neighbor’s fault that my bedroom is too light? Absolutely not. It is not their fault that the wall with the bright windows is a block wall in which one cannot nail into to put up a blanket or curtains. Even if I could drill into that wall, with all of my health issues I don’t need one more thing in the house to collect and stir up dust. That is why I chose not to have curtains in the first place. How is that a neighbors fault? It is not. Is it aggravating to no end? Absolutely. Do I want and need sleep to heal from chronic illness and be in a better mood to deal with the neighbors? Absolutely.

How is that a neighbors fault? It is not. Is it aggravating to no end? Absolutely. Do I want and need sleep to heal from chronic illness and be in a better mood to deal with the neighbors? Absolutely.

It still is no one’s fault. It just is. It is a fact that my sleep during this healing process is crucial and it is a fact that the neighbor has not one clue of the struggles I face on a daily basis. It just is. If I felt it was anyone’s fault, I would ask to change it. Who exactly am I going to ask to change the lights in my brain that creates the lights in my vision?

As lightbulbs turn on from within, I can understand the complexities better. I can be kinder to those who don’t understand. If it has taken me decades to understand this lightbulb, why would I expect healthy people to understand?

Thoroughly amazed at the complexities of chronic illness and how they interfere with life, relationships and health.

Maribeth Baxter, MBEC

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Donations are accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.


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