Progress, I will take it. Finally on the right path, a good path. How many times through chronic illness have I felt like I could not find a path, any path, to save my life? It feels good, pure and peaceful to be on this path. It is slow, frustrating and overwhelming at times still, but I can see the path. I can finally have a thought about smelling the flowers along the way. What does that path look like today…
That path looks glorious. I can see it!! There it is, right in front of me. I have had Lyme Disease since early childhood. The trials have been great. Now with the understanding of the physical disease and a diagnosis and blood test to prove it, I can move through it. Move past it and out of it. Sometimes until we can identify a problem, we cannot solve it.
Wish that was my only problem in life, wish I could blame everything on Lyme. Instead, I choose to take responsibility for my life, my choices, may failures and all that comes with that. I also get to accept my
I also get to accept my triumphs through a lifetime of physical challenges. No one else has to agree or recognize it. I get to own this regardless of what others think or believe. I have walked through a life of fog, blur, dizzying circumstances and I still would not choose to be anyone else. That is a good place to be. A peaceful pure place in which I can accept it all.
Most times, a disease is a way to get our attention. I actually am grateful for the disease that crashed in my life in every way imaginable until it got my attention.
What would I like to change? How others treat each other.
Above all, I want to see others treating each other with the love that they wish they were treated. I cannot change that in others. I can change it in me. I can reach down even further and find more acceptance, patience, tolerance, kindness, and love for others.
I belong to several “groups” revolving around health. Shocked at what I am seeing and hearing. Where is the kindness? Back to starting with me. Everything has to start with ourselves. If we cannot do it, why should we expect others to do it?
One of my health groups recently had a post from someone most likely new to her diagnosis of Lyme Disease. She posted something. It was obviously innocent and trying to be helpful, although it was incorrect information. It was not scientific, it was not backed by any real data for anything useful for our group, and without a doubt, it hit a lot of nerves from fellow Lyme suffers who have taken this particular path that she was warning us against.
Was her intent to misguide others? Most likely not. The intent is an important factor to look at.
The response to her post was far beyond unkind. It was cruel. Downright ugly and cruel beyond reason. Her post prompted 110 immediate responses, most of which were mean-spirited. How is that helpful to anyone?
Realizing that during chronic illness, we lose our patience, lose tact, lose a sense of others feelings, I get it. I am right there with everyone else in this chronic illness journey. I also mess-up on a daily basis. Many of these 110 responses were way beyond all of that. In the very least we just have to have a tolerance for each other.
Hurt people, hurt others.
Complaining about what others did to her is not the solution either. For the first 24 hours, I chose to be quiet and see what would transpire. Usually, when I try to jump in to help, I somehow seem to make it all worse. After the backlash she received, others started new posts and commenting on kindness and being positive. It was more than time to move away from that series of nonsense. It is only my assumption that the turn in conversation was an indication I was not the only one appalled at how this lady was treated.
After the backlash she received, others started new posts and commenting on kindness and being positive. It was more than time to move away from that series of prior nonsense. It is only my assumption that the turn in conversation was an indication I was not the only one appalled at how this lady was treated.
So, how can we stand up and make a difference? I chose to contact her privately and just simply be kind. Complaining about other’s responses to her keeps us all stuck in the negativity so that was not my conversation. Wow was that interesting trying to find the correct words. I have been the brunt of this kind of backlash of mean-spirited people and it can take on a life of its own, especially with an ill person with all the other struggles we deal with.
I have been the brunt of this kind of backlash of mean-spirited people and it can take on a life of its own, especially with an ill person with all the other struggles we deal with. This kind of cruelty does not contribute toward anyone’s healing from chronic illness. It certainly does not benefit mankind in any way.
Be kind or be quiet.
I have stuck my foot in my mouth way too many times. I have said things that have been taken wrong and I have said mean things. Past time to weigh my words even more carefully. Each year I get better at it.
It is easy to see the cruelty in others. Can we choose to see it in ourselves so we can take responsibility for our actions and stop hurting others?
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
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.