Chloe O’Neil is the Founder of More than Lyme. She began More than Lyme to share and keep track of her adventures while being treated for Lyme Disease, but eventually, More Than Lyme became more than just her “online diary,” it became a place to connect, and for the rest of the community battling Lyme, to share their story. It became a place to show the world just how much more than Lyme we really are.
So often I find myself bouncing between idea-covered pages, adventures, and unfinished projects, wondering what benefit this has — is this really helping my cause? Is this really pushing me to be my best self no matter what cards are dealt? In this instance, these cards are Chronic Lyme Disease, something that has been part of my life for over 15 years. Terrible, yes, but in the grand scheme of things 15 years is relatively short, as this disease can go misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or both for many more years.
With that in mind, I felt it was necessary to find a way to keep doing what I love, even if it required just that much more time, energy, and dedication to my, and eventually this community’s happiness.
Back to my earlier question, yes. Yes, these ideas I have are worthy of my time. More than that, I am worthy of having and even running with them, because no matter how daunting or insurmountable the obstacles in front of us appear to be, there will always be a way through, even if that path redirects you upstream and off the beaten path.
That, my friends, is where this adventure begins.
Standing in the vast expanse of desert that runs rugged and wild at the foothills of the lower cascade mountain range, there I was holding the spark of an idea that to this day brings me motivation, hope, and certainty as I continue onward, doing my best to hold up during the inevitable gusts of change and towering obstacles this path brings.
Herein lies the moment when I realized just how vital it would be for me to leave enough space for my mind to run as wild and free as the landscape I chose to surround myself with. But how did I get here? These revelations, though seemingly sudden, can take on a life of their own long before we think to give them credit.
I slowed down, taking off my running shoes and replacing them with something durable and long lasting — hiking boots, fit with red laces and soles sturdy enough to take me anywhere. And as I slowed down, I found my thoughts lingering on questions like these…
1) On my worst days, what was it that made me feel more like myself?
2) Through failed treatments and doctor visits, what kept me going?
3) On my best days, when pain levels and anxiety lessened, what was it I either found myself doing or longed to do?
4) Where and who makes me feel most alive?
5) And how can I prioritize this place, my happiness, and these people no matter the obstacles?
When the doubt slips in and the fear takes over, as they love to do, ask yourself one or more of the above questions, and in doing so, try seeing the power that your ideas hold as reasons to keep going, creating, adventuring, and living a life more than.
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