Lyme Disease is a frustrating illness. It’s also an illness you can have for a really long time and not even know about. Some people have symptoms for months, knowing they don’t feel right but not thinking it could be something like Lyme Disease. For most when a diagnosis finally does come, there is a sense of relief, but oftentimes it fades into anger. How could this have happened? I didn’t feel a bite. I never saw a tick. Why did it take so long to get the answers? Not to mention the adjustment that comes with managing the new illness. It’s no wonder with so much going on your mood isn’t going to be the best. And that’s ok.
There have been numerous studies about emotions in relation to all sorts of chronic illnesses and for the most part, a lot of those initial feelings are negative or will be at some point. It makes sense. Nobody wants to be ill, and not a lot of people plan to be. There is a large movement to lean towards the positive but that doesn’t mean ignore or cover up the negative. In fact, doing so might make depression, anxiety or anger worse. It’s important to know your feelings, whatever they are, are valid. You’re the one experiencing your life and only you get to decide how you feel about it.
If you find yourself feeling bad it’s important to recognize it and try to put your feelings into words. Talk to a therapist or a trusted friend. If it’s too hard to say out loud, write your feelings down in a journal or a computer document. Getting it out of you may not be an instant relief, but over time your brain will come to appreciate the release valve and not weigh down the rest of your daily life with whatever thoughts you may have.
Adjusting to Lyme Disease can be a struggle. Be kind to yourself, and let others know where you’re at, even if it’s not all smiles. Being good to yourself means being honest.