That’s not how it works…


Any given day, I fluctuate between a 5-7, which is a vast improvement from what life was like before diagnosis and treatment, when I was 0-3. The response I got when I posted this on FB? “This year’s goal, a 9!”

Um, that’s not how chronic illness works. I’m no longer in treatment, and I’m coming to terms with my own limitations. I appreciate the positive attitude and well wishes, but to tell me that I should be aiming for a 9 perpetuates the idea that I’m not doing enough, not being enough… Just. Not. Enough.

I could go on, but I wont. Not at this time. Besides, I know many others who have faced similar situations and have more eloquently discussed why this pervasive “do more” attitude actually does more to hurt than to help.



I’ve been feeling disconnected for quite some time. Since this summer really. And it’s been hindering my ability to write.

I used to write quite a bit. It was how I processed thoughts, emotions, stress, etc. I created this blog to help me record and process my journey with Lyme disease, and my continuing journey to become a health care provider to other sufferers. I wrote through bouts of brain fog. I wrote through stressful moments like final exams. I wrote in an attempt to distract myself from the unending pain. But lately, I’ve largely been silent.

Journaling is something our nursing instructors encouraged us to do after every shift when we finally landed our first nursing positions. They used to tell us that the day would inevitably come where we’d be brought before a judge in some legal case and need to defend our actions and our charting. But if you were to look at my nursing journal, you’d barely see more than a week or two of entries.


I’ve noticed my writing slipped to the wayside this past summer. And a couple of things happened this summer that might be at play here. First, the new nursing job. I’m an RN on an intermediate care unit and I work night shift, 7p to 7a. When I asked a fellow RN (who graduated with me and we started our jobs at the same hospital the same week) if she was feeling a similar disconnect, she reminded me that I “give so much of myself at work, that whatever is leftover, I save for myself.” And that feels like it could be part of the answer, but I’m not convinced it’s the only thing going on. It is true, however, that I give wholly of myself on each shift. So much so, that I need to be completely alone for a few hours before my shift, and when I come home, I eat and collapse in bed, avoiding discussion about my shift beyond a grunt or two.

But something else happened this summer. Something that was wonderful and painful all in the same breath. A special someone from my past that had resurfaced months before was now planning a visit to my home. And every moment that we shared was beautiful and exciting and completely loving. But after the visit was over, and without going into too much detail, phone calls were painful. They were hurtful, and even hateful. I remember breaking down into tears more than once while words were exchanged between us.

So we don’t talk like we used to before our visit. Thoughtful texts from time to time, but not a single phone call. I’m left with beautiful flashes of moments shared between us, which make me ache inside for reasons I have yet to really tease apart. But those moments are tarnished with the recollection of hurtful words spat at each other, words that caused me to make the decision that there will be certain subjects that will forever be off limits should we ever speak again.

One of those subjects? My illness. Lyme disease. Something that *is* such a huge part of my life, not just because of the physical toll it has taken on my body, but the direction my life has taken because of it: my current nursing career and my future goal as a nurse practitioner.

Another friend of mine thinks the disconnection has more to do with the latter scenario… That I need to properly grieve and work through this pain before I reconnect with my own thoughts and write the way I used to. And this also feels like a reasonable piece to the puzzle, but it’s not the entire answer.

And so I feel stuck. I need to figure out a strategy to deal with the changes and lingering grief, and reconnect…