New Beginnings

By Jana

January 17, 2024


I love new beginnings, which is why New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. I love the process of looking back on the past year and moving forward into a new one. The novelty of new beginnings has always excited me. Maybe that’s why my husband and I decided to transform our extra bedroom into a yoga/meditation room. It was our Christmas gift to each other and has already brought us so much renewed, serene energy. With the concept of new beginnings in mind, we set about living a life of intention. Cushioned not only with meditation pillows but with love, gratitude and grace.

Grace: courteous goodwill

Grace, a consideration we don’t allow ourselves very often, and one that I’d like to focus on more in coming blogs. It’s a courtesy that I certainly strained to allow in myself as I stepped out of the embattlement of Lyme disease and into this new body and mind, fortified by chronic illness. I wonder if you have noticed this in yourselves as well. Are you allowing yourself grace in your day to day life? Stepping into this new year, I am focusing on a gracious will for my body. I hope to bring you along in this effort to be kind and gentle with ourselves.

New insights and hope for the future

During my sabbatical, I had a lot of time to reflect on my time here with you and my purpose at United by Lyme. Honestly, when I decided to take a sabbatical I wasn’t sure if I would be back. I feel compelled to share my experiences in the hopes of helping others to feel less scared and alone. Yet, it takes its toll on me emotionally. But the truth is, I could never leave you. Not after all that we’ve been through. After a lot of thought, I found a good balance for myself. As we begin this new year together, united by Lyme disease, I hope to offer even more insight and hope for the future.

I began this blog a little over two years ago. Along our journey together I have shared with you some of the most terrifying and difficult moments of my battle. From terrible pain to being lost at the grocery store, we’ve been through a lot. Rather than keeping myself entrenched in the difficulty of my illness, I want to move into sharing about my years since reaching recovery. These years have been full of challenges. It has not been a straight path up or out of sorrow, fear and loneliness. On the other hand, I have learned a lot.

In the past, I have hesitated to share with you what it’s like now that I’m on the other side of the mountain. I didn’t want to come across as pandering or insincere. I have touched on some of my struggles since reaching remission. Now I would like to dive in further. I have come to realize that, (1) we all need hope for the future, and (2) sharing with you what I’ve experienced on the flip-side is just as valuable as sharing what I experienced during my battle. I may even be able to help you avoid some of my own stumbles.

As it turns out, new beginnings do not connote immediate transformation. Nor does a new beginning mean an instant severing from the past. It has taken me four years to accept these facts and learn how to live with them. The day I was pronounced in remission from Lyme disease I did not go out and ride a bike to the top of a mountain. I did not slip back into my point shoes and begin performing Swan Lake or The Nutcracker. That’s the lie I had told myself. The reality has been hard to accept. The truth is that, like anything worth fighting for, it takes time. And so, I have taken to meandering along the riverbank, slowly but persistently, as I acclimate to a life free from chronic illness.

And so, on this 17th day of 2024, I renew my commitment to United by Lyme. I’m returning from my sabbatical with a new sense of excitement. My intention is to speak not only to those of you still in the midst of your treatment. I also want to reach those who may still be struggling to find meaning in this new lease on life. For those of you who are still trudging through the desert of this disease, you can learn from what I’ve learned. You will also be better prepared than I was to enter this new chapter in life. My next post will celebrate some of the tiny new beginnings I experienced during my battle with Lyme disease. It’s a good exercise in not missing the trees for the forest when the big picture is so overwhelming.

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