Would you wear this shoe?
You would, if you didn't have any. If you were in the street, half dressed, naked tootsies, surrounded by screaming asphalt...you'd wear it--regardless of color, style, fit, or preference. When you're desperate, you'll take anything. Like a castaway eating rats for dinner: it may not be your first choice, but it sure beats going hungry. This is also the case when you are dealing with chronic illness.
Let me explain.
When you first get sick...I mean really, really sick...you are frantic. You'll go anywhere, talk to anyone, try anything that could remotely make you feel better. Case in point, a friend of mine took part in a chicken ritual. Others, drink their own urine. Others, no one I know...;), take animal medications. In the beginning, you are so grateful to find anyone who either a) knows what you're going through or b) will listen, you'll sleep with a smelly buffalo to gain an ounce of understanding.
This...as you can imagine...has it's limitations.
The upside? You meet a lot of people, learn a lot about health, and grow as a person.
The downside? You get overloaded with information, tolerate a lot of things you wouldn't normally tolerate, and feel overwhelmed.
Today, as I was thinking about yesterday's message board fiasco (yes...I am still thinking about it), I realized something I hadn't thought about before: I haven't been very selective lately. For months, the only criteria I've had for choosing friends was based on illness.
If you had Lyme, that was good enough for me.
If you had Lyme, could make me laugh, had good information, or were positive...even better.
This method served me for a while. I had people to share with, companions at 3:00am, and folks to look at pictures of my poo with mild curiosity. It helped. Where I missed the boat was instilling my real life values into my on line friendships.
I've met a lot of wonderful people with Lyme Disease...truly caring, supportive, genuine, good people. I've also met some not so nice folks...nasty, spiteful, two-faced, dominating...many of whom I've endured for the sake of information or company.
Today, I realized the real struggle with illness isn't pain, pills, protocols, and outcomes. It's you. It's keeping YOU together, staying true to YOUR core, holding on to YOUR convictions. Otherwise, Lyme steals everything.
For me, it's no longer enough to have cheap, shoddy footwear just to keep my feet safe. I want REAL shoes, made with quality materials, that make me happy, and support me in walking.
And--by golly--I'm going to have them.
Altered Today: Becoming selective