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April, 2014- HELLO ALL! I am no longer posting to this blog. For the latest on me and my work, I invite you to subscribe to my NEW blog: www.conniestrasheim.blogspot.com where I share my latest findings on how to heal from chronic illness involving Lyme and other conditions. Thanks!

Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

About "Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment"

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443 Pages - $39.95
Published August, 2009
Written by Connie Strasheim
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Friday, January 22, 2010

When Loved Ones Leave...And There Is Only God

Over the past few years, I have spoken with dozens of Lyme disease sufferers who have lost loved ones over their disease. Friends and family who promised to be there for them through their difficulties, disappeared during their darkest hour of need. Husbands have left their wives and wives their husbands; friends have distanced themselves from the ailing, parents have refused to help their children and children their parents, and so on. In my early days with Lyme, I experienced this with a couple of friends, and again recently with another close friend, just as another layer of my Lyme onion has reared its ugly head and I have been once again thrust into a desert of physical and emotional hardship. Boy, it's been awhile since I've had to endure this. I forgot how difficult it is.

It's confounding and painful when those who valiantly promised to be there for you, or who were once there for you but who have now tired of your endless Lyme problem suddenly vanish. Removing the salt of unforgiveness from your already gaping wounds can be incredibly challenging, especially when all is not right with your neurons and your drugs make you hate the whole world anyway.

I speak from experience. I'm discovering that Mepron makes me grow horns and there are days when I want to tear off a head or two. I am a docile, patient person for the most part, but the medications and the Herx reactions that they cause can really do a number on my brain and exacerbate any feelings of hurt that I may have against another.

But that's beside the point. I mention it only because I believe it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees when you don't feel well. And the truth is, your family and friends may have loved you to the best of their ability, but they were weak. You may believe that they were content to leave you and go on their merry way in life, but if they loved you, in order to live with their betrayal, they had to harden their hearts against the love that God would have desired to pour into them, and then upon you. This is sad, for they have forsaken an opportunity to rise above their selfishness and give to their spouse or sister in need.

And because the love that they could have given remains locked inside of their tormented souls, over the long haul, their departure hurts them more than it hurts you.

That is, provided you are able to release them from what they have done to you, and that you too, don't harden your heart. That you may now be alone in your pain, that you suffer day after day in isolation, may be an invitation for you to wallow in your grief. You may notice, for example, that the house is a mess, and in your misery, you may think, If only my wife were here to help me with the laundry!...Indeed, if only your boyfriend were around to make you dinner when you can't get up off the sofa, if only your friend were available to take your hand when you feel like you are walking along a precipice of insanity...

How do you let it go? How do you forgive your loved ones for their inability to be there for you? How do you find joy in a trecherous journey that must sometimes be walked alone?

I'll get back to that in a moment.

I have noticed something interesting about hardship, in my own life as well as in the lives of others. Those whom you expect to be there for you during trials sometimes are not, and those whom you don't expect, are. Not always, of course, as many people have loving friends and family who are there for them until the bitter, or blissful, end of Lyme. Yet sometimes, it isn't your best friend, parent or spouse who reaches out with arms of love, but a friend from afar, an acquaintance, or even a stranger.

While I have been mostly fortunate to have friends and family around to help me through the trials of Lyme, there have been dry spells, and during these times, God has sometimes sent an unexpected friend to help pull me through. This is truly a blessing, and while I, while you, may long for the ones who were nearest and dearest to our hearts, we must embrace the new gifts and the new people that God puts into our lives, knowing that He has done so for our good and because He loves us.

And then sometimes, there are no friends or family close by, but only God. When your loved ones have vanished, or when you are too sick to get out and about to spend time with them, God is there. Or perhaps, you walk this path alone because you just don't want to drain the people in your life anymore with your ongoing grief, because you know it hurts them, too, and why make the whole world sad? But you still need to take that sadness somewhere...

So there is God.

Sometimes, in my days of frustration, I think, Who cares about God? God can't hug me, He often doesn't respond to me when I ask Him for help, and well, He's just plain distant at times! But then there are days, when I take the time to be still before Him and persist in my pursuit of Him, that He comforts me and gives me peace, and tells me that this place of solitude is where I am supposed to be, because what greater privilege than to have the time and space to get to know the One who will never leave me nor forsake me! Even though the process of knowing is slow and the privilege brings pain, with time, I find myself growing in wisdom and in love towards my creator, which is ultimately, the best gift I could ever hope to get out of life.

God tells me to love people, but to put my trust in only Him. People are fallible, but if we can love them without expectations, then we will be at peace. When, in our grief, we can rise above our bitter thoughts and embrace the humanity of those who have failed us, then we have wisdom. When we can see them through the eyes of God, then our hearts are healed, as we release them from our clenches of unforgiveness.

It's a process, and not one that can be undertaken by willpower alone. We must get on our knees and cry out to God, again and again, and release the torrent of grief that has been locked up inside of us for so long. We must implore Him for wisdom and discernment, confess our unforgiveness, and ask Him for eyes to see our loved ones as He sees them. Above all, we must ask for a powerful revelation of His love towards us, that our brokenness may be healed. That revelation may come in words, through prayer, but it may also come through impressions, visions, people, books and circumstances. God is creative, and can speak in a multitude of ways, if we only believe that He desires to talk to us. And I think He does, because I have experienced it; long, run-on sentences that speak truth into my soul, and especially when my hunger for Him is deep and driven by desperation.

But to hear Him I believe that we must get quiet, humble our hearts, listen and live with awareness. Constantly. Again and again, day after day, persisting and persevering, through tears, doubts and fears, pressing on, laying low and laboring, face to the ground, hour after hour, until the dawn comes...

6 comments:

ShalomSerene said...

I am praying great blessings on you for your beautiful expressions of your growth in the Holy Spirit/Yahushua/YHVH/God. Once again, as so many times before while reading your blogs, I am profoundly moved to tears of thanksgiving as the Holy Spirit speaks to me using your voice as it's vehicle.
Though I don't have Lymes, I have a basket full of other maladies that result in many of the same consequences you describe so eloquently. Hypothyroid with Hashimoto's results in a condition so similar to bipolar disorder that it is often, as it was in my case, misdiagnosed as such. I have some OCD and anxiety problems as well, possibly resulting from mercury poisoning, along with Binge Eating Disorder, so my life is rather complex. I used to self medicate with alcohol, drugs & sex, but 9 years ago was miraculously saved by our King. You may find my testimony at SavedXWitch.com interesting and there is a 5 minute video linked there that was done by 700 Club a couple years ago that illustrates a little chunk of my spiritual gropings/growth.
Anyway, you are in my prayers for healing and joy, as well as continued closeness to YHVH/God. I look forward to more jewels from your pen!
Blessed, healthy, prosperous & free be,
B'Shem Yahushua (in the Name of Jesus),
with love & shalom from
Shalom

Anonymous said...

Dear Connie,

thanks for your enheartening messages.
They represent so profoundly reflected views of our daily struggles.

Renee said...

Hi Connie
Thanks for this beautiful post. Today I am so discouraged with treatment as I have had so many secondary issues crop up in the past year....and now my gall bladder and stomach are a mess... and now with my husband sick with Lyme too. We feel so alone at times but we are blessed to have each other. We hold each other up and I know that is a great blessing.
As you can tell, I have been having a pity party, but your post has given me strength and reminded me that GOD walks with us...every day in every way.
Bless you

Karla said...

Connie, thank you for revealing such personal thoughts and travels. I wept reading your letter as I too have been there. Lymes put me against the wall with no where to go except to God and friends have left. If there is a silver lining to all this it would be getting guiet enough at those times to hear His voice. Reminds me to care for who I don't know that are struggling with disease...to step out of "self". God bless you and keep you safe. K

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Thank you All, for your kind comments. I am glad that my message spoke to your hearts and I pray that God would heal you, in body spirit and soul, in His perfect time.

Blessings, Connie

rebecca said...

Hi Connie...I had to go back and reread this blog. I am actually feeling pretty distant from my husband now that I am HEALTHY again after a year and a half of treatment (hope it sticks). All during my illness he has been very supportive and understanding, but now that I am deemed "cured", he expects everything to just be in the past. He wants the "old" me back now, after being so patient for so long...he wants the same girl back that would party with him, and stress herself out alongside of him, getting MORE, doing MORE..not this NEW girl who now eats too healthy, refuses to let herself get too stressed (i.e. has little trouble saying NO to people, even HIM, if it's going to affect her well-being), has built up herself spiritually again, and is now seeing life through different eyes than she did 2 years ago. It almost feels like he thinks I OWE him for these past few years of Lyme trials, and that now I need to be making up for lost time...jumping back into the saddle and taking on all my old responsibilities and habits full speed. I feel that I will never be that old person again, no matter how well I feel. I don't want my old life back. I've made a lot of changes because of this disease, and life is really too short and health too fragile to go messing with negative things again. It makes me think of the dynamics between couples when one of them breaks free of an addiction, be it drugs, alcohol, obesity etc. They become new people, different than they were and sometimes the spouses don't fit together anymore (think codependancy). This happens with survivors of cancer too sometimes, where the survivor just realizes that life is too precious to waste living with someone you don't love, or can't get along with. I'm thinking of starting talk therapy with someone because, as I have small children, I feel that it's my duty to try to make the marriage work for their sake, but some days I really feel like it's a lot to ask. You know, it was almost easier when I was sick. Then I could always blame my negative feelings on the fact that I wasn't myself. Now, for the first time in a long time, I feel that I am my REAL self, and that my feelings are actually valid. I think that Lyme has brought out the core of who I am, after having stripped off all the outer stuff (like your onion analogy), and what I'm left with really isn't all that complicated of a person, but it is a person who doesn't feel like compromising anymore, and that is very hard for some people to take. Have you run across any HEALED Lymies who have experienced this problem AFTER they got better?
Thanks for caring..Rebecca