At times I wondered if anyone even cared or wanted to read about “me,” the person behind Lady of Lyme. Am I sharing about myself enough? Too much? I wrestled with wanting to build rapport and a more personal connection with everyone who comes by this site, but then my shyness kicking in saying, “don’t put yourself out there to be judged.” It’s no doubt a fear coming from my introverted self, but one that is often outweighed by wanting to be authentic. I walk a fine line with that sentiment.
Everyone who fights an illness of any kind inspires me deeply, and what I experienced as I communicated with people via emails was that complete strangers opened up and shared things about themselves so bravely.
As the blog continued on through the years I met so many patients from across the world and read so many emails about harrowing battles others were fighting. My worldview got much larger as I grasped the scale of suffering that this disease causes globally. It was so much bigger than I could have imagined, and so much work and advocacy needs to be done in every front. This lit a fire in me to spend more time doing research and compiling as much useful information as I possibly could in my blog posts.
My whole entire heart is put into Lady of Lyme day in and day out. It is my greatest desire to find outlets to help in some small way; essentially any way that possibly I can. However, at the end of the day I am just a patient, a daughter, a friend, and a fellow fighter, much like many of you who come by and read this blog. I stretch myself thin a lot of the time because I take on too much, both in the way of physical tasks regarding this blog, and also emotionally. On occasion I will receive emails that are not very kind. They vary in terms of what they say, but it’s never easy to read words that are just plain cruel. What I found to be strange is that on the few rare occasions that this happened it always was from patients who are also ill (with varying conditions) and I scratch my head thinking, “wait, shouldn’t this person have some empathy and understanding if they are sick too?” It's shocking every time. When I recently encountered such an email it made me self-conscious to keep blogging. It’s such a personal thing to me, and I took a few steps back to stop and reassess.
I guess I should have built up some thicker skin if I made the decision to put myself out there on a website, but that isn’t who I am. I, Christina, am someone who is an introvert, someone who has a sensitive soul that can easily get wounded. If I give of myself I give my whole heart, and if I care I care very deeply (there is no in between). I am also a fiercely private person, social media freaks me out and I have all but deleted every personal account I created from college. I have had an old soul from a young age, and if I could find a job that paid me to watch the Hallmark channel and do crafts or design all day then I would be set for life. On the flip side of this I am still a person who has a passion for things that matter in life. I will fight for what I believe in, in this case being a patient advocate for Lyme disease. And with that I have to throw all my typical personality traits aside, and go way outside my comfort zone. This blog is about 100 miles outside of what I find comfortable. If I didn’t care so much I wouldn’t do it. It would be so much easier for me to not put myself out there, because I don’t particularly desire to over share about myself (even though I’m from the generation who typically does).
I write this blog and do the research because my heart compels me. And I know that on occasion I will stumble across a few bad apples, but they don’t need to ruin the whole beautiful batch, which is everyone else who comes by this site and has something kind to say. There is so much more goodness in this world than there is bad, and sometimes I need to remember that.
Although I have been a bit quieter with posting personal blogs and updates recently, I plan to get back into that very soon. I have a lot of drafts that I began but just never finished to submit, so I hope to get them up very soon. I also have a wonderful guest blog post which will be up this week from a fellow Lyme fighter. I pray that it touches and inspires everyone who reads it the same way it touched me.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week.