Lyme disease is now the number one infectious illness in the USA, having surpassed HIV. It is exploding on both coasts, the tick population is multiplying in rates beyond historically normal, and many people are concerned about prevention. Recent news of pandemic levels in New England have put everyone on ‘red alert’.
In response local authors Katina Makris and Laura Piazza are teaming up to present a free educational event on Lyme disease and book signing at Jabberwocky Books, 50 Water St., #22, Newburyport, MA, Sunday, August 5, 3-5 PM.
Life is a ferris wheel of ups and downs, circling around in everlasting cycles. The seasons remind us of the changes, yet often we human beings do not honor the wisdom of nature and instead PUSH through the time honored ups and downs, ins and outs, forcing ourselves to keep moving, doing and achieving.
I know this pattern of defying natural rhythms, I too pushed too far. The result was a very long bout of chronic Lyme disease, as many of you know, shared in my book “Out of the Woods”. Though Lyme removed me from the outer world and all I loved, it also showed me many miracles. In fact, my 10 year healing journey was nothing short of profound!
Please read below, an article of mine, the online newspaper “Essential Wellness” has published, regarding why we fall prey to illness. I offer these insights to you in compassionate understanding for our collective journey to wellness. Thank you Essential Wellness On-line!
Having fortunately overcome an advanced and serious case of chronic Lyme disease. By no stretch of the imagination or words, I can say that I was so wretchedly ill, that death was close at hand, others using the term “critical,” as I lay bedridden, too weak to dress or shower on my own. Dementia symptoms had set in, palsy tremors and nightmarish anxiety and obsessive thought patterns ran rampant, making me feel honestly, insane. My mind and body were horrifically ravaged. Lyme disease can be so frightening.
We finally got my diagnosis in year five. I was determined to be well and reclaim my life completely. Being half-way well was not going to be satisfactory for me. I lost so much- my career, and income, my social life, my athleticism, my vibrant health, my home and hearth. Being bedridden for over two years, I came to identify that “using” my body – to swim, to dance, to ski, to even just walk was what I missed the most. Having always been physical, outdoorsy, affectionate and actually loving exercise, I detested being “cooped up,” inside my own skin and bones, by this microscopic organism infestation. We knew it would be a long road – three to five years of treatment – to wellness. Patience, fortitude and determination were givens. Fortitude and determination I knew how to embody, patience had never been my forte before. In fact, industrious and impulsive were energies I was familiar with. Now I was being presented with the challenge of being patient with convalescence, yet also not slumping or settling for getting just part-way better.
To outsiders this may sound like nonsense, but to a Lymie, well you know just what I am talking about. It is a delicate balancing act to accept a moderate, slow paced path to recovery and also to not just flag into couch potato, sluggish stasis. It’s that final push, the steepest part of the ascent to the summit, that is often the most grueling phase in a high mountain trek. It is no different with overcoming chronic Lyme disease. After a long, arduous, often muddy course, switchbacks included, holding on and forging to the uninhabited, rock bare summit is a victory!
Most likely this appears as a feat of endurance and stamina. It is at a certain level. Much of the Lyme conquest involves a positive mental mindset and use of willpower. Developing inner strength and patience clearly are helpmates. But, the piece actually of greatest assistance to me during the “final summit” of “Mount Lyme,” involved creating an inner sanctuary within my being. Stilling my overactive mind, letting go of the negative mental Lyme vortex and truly cherishing my own sensitivity was a critical turning point. Like a rope belay over a rocky face, this inner sanctuary is an oasis in the storm of illness, and an essential supportive measure if one wishes to reach the pinnacle of full recovery.
The organism of Lyme disease, the borrelia in particular, is a negative, self destructive, despairing energy. I have lived it fully! I know the mental/emotional state of this illness intimately. There is a very dark, heavy, sorrowful, self-pitying, negative element to the vibration of the bacteria. It erodes the positive neurotransmitters and amino acids of the brain. The nervous system becomes entirely taxed, depleted and sometimes damaged. When our “feel good” hormones and brain chemicals become messed around with, well then we readily slip into fragile, self torturing, obsessive thoughts and feelings. Lyme does this. We can however, deal with the downward spiral.
It is hard at first to lasso the run-away thoughts associated with emotions, such as, the anxiety, sadness, anger, and betrayal we experience, when so wretchedly ill, weak and in pain. Many of us have lost important pieces of our lives and self-confidence from Lyme’s encampment. It is honestly infuriating, traumatic and over whelming to endure the torturous experience of suffering. Yet, as human beings, we are very resilient and possess a powerful conduit of healing energy, all linked to our internal self.
Purposefully setting positive mental images in our mind’s eye is the first step in creating an inner sanctuary. Just as my father guided me in “Out of the Woods; Healing Lyme Disease, Body, Mind & Spirit” into “seeing” myself on a favorite sunny beach, soaking in the sun and sensory associations, I urge you to see yourself in your own happy, comfortable, healthy setting. Really sit with this image; your eyes closed, seeing the colors, sensing the smells and textures. Be there! Allow your physical and emotional self to relish in this positive setting and feelings. In doing so, you are initiating the mind-body healing pathway, and beginning to produce a trickle of hormones and neurochemicals that are the beneficial variety and will in turn stimulate the immune system.
I suggest visiting this lovely place within your mind’s eye, many times in your day, reinforcing a positive trend. By cultivating this inner sanctuary of comfort and beauty, you are accessing your own healing energy and intention to embrace wellness. All forms of illness can benefit from working with our own inner healing powers. The new frontier evaluating the biology of these mind-body skills is called Epigenetic Medicine. Though time honored healing work, scoffed off by medicine for a half century, once again we can skillfully reclaim our own inner powers and integrate the mind-body pathway as a valuable piece for a full life return to well-being.
I have many more healing tools and understandings to share. They were all critical vehicles in helping me to fully recover from advanced Lyme disease. I will continue to bring some of them forth here in my “Journeys in Healing” blog, but the entire spectrum will be available in my next book, “The Lyme Disease Healing Workbook.”
May you be graced with peace and beauty, as you began to create your own inner sanctuary.
When I was a small girl my dynamic, visionary father embedded a powerful mantra into my conscious mind- “The backyard is not your playground Katina, the entire world is! Work hard and you can achieve anything you want to in this lifetime.”
For those of you whom have read my memoir “Out of the Woods; Healing Lyme Disease, Body, Mind, & Spirit,” you have a glimpse into the magnitude of the hard work I dug in to. Beyond achieving my specified personal goals, I had to take on the hard work of overcoming advanced chronic Lyme disease. Though Lyme occupied my life for ten years, five years of diligent work were devoted to healing and recovery. And, it worked!
My father’s message rings loud and clear to me on many occasions. Though gone from the earthplane since 2010, I feel his spiritual presence vividly, often when I least expect it. My spiritual companion rides co-pilot with me.
Out in the world since October 2011, lecturing extensively with “Out of the Woods,” I am traveling far and wide. Just as my dad told me as a child, “the entire world is your playground.” I love this global awareness he held.
The week of July 1 exemplified this to me, my global reach manifesting in an unsuspected abundance. Hard work pays off, as I’ve been lecturing, writing articles and being interviewed. Suddenly, it hit me; I saw an image of hands reaching across a vast body of water, in my mind’s eye. I felt the global family, our unison, the camaraderie of like minds’ and hearts’ working together for a higher goal. We are united through the subject of Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, but the higher order is truly that of healing. Healing hearts, spirits, and bodies.
What an honor it is to share with so many special folks-hands across the water-reaching out to me, and in turn to our global family. In these incredibly dynamic ten days I’ve just lived, I am moved to thank these wonderful people and groups that have aligned with me. I apologize for the list format, but it helps keep things simple. So, treasured thanks to:
And the global reach does not stop. In recent months I’ve been communication with people in Australia, South Africa, Greece, Israel, and Canada, pertaining to Lyme disease and healing. We may be threaded together through the struggles of this vicious epidemic illness, but the enormous amount of good work and heartfelt energy of everyone is such a beautiful experience for me. What a glorious opportunity I am living!
It may sound silly, but I feel like I want to give the Earth a big hug!
In the meanwhile, hold that wondrous vision in your mind’s eye-
“The entire world is your playground. You can achieve anything you want in this lifetime!”
I feel so grateful that Brandi Dean of Boston Lyme contacted me a few months ago to come speak to the support group. What a special evening we shared!
Look at our terrific photo!
These are wonderful, gifted woman. I loved guiding you in a healing exercise, how profound our discoveries were.
Thank you for all you hold Brandi with Boston Lyme.