I lost two years to Lyme Disease, there is no way to sugarcoat that. Two years of my early twenties got flushed down the tubes, they were spent in unbearable amounts of pain on the sofa. I couldn’t drive, couldn’t work, couldn’t see my friends, I used all my energy to bathe myself. It was difficult. It was terrible, but two years simply vanished in front of me.
It’s a harsh reality, but as we start this new decade I find myself not mourning those two years. It’s not because in retrospect they weren’t that bad (because they really truly where) it’s just that those two years played a special role in my life.
They taught me perspective and gave me sympathy for the sick and disabled in ways I’ve never experienced before, but they also reshaped me. You see, when you’re that sick and that unable you spend a lot of time thinking, you spend a lot of time evaluating, and dang, if I didn’t spend a lot of time praying.
Our early adulthood years are formative, college had taken my brain and worked on it and worked on it. My years on campus and in class had reshaped my brain, and some of that molding was amazing, but some of it needed to be left pliable for the realities of the real world coming after.
I feel like in a way I had a couple of buffer years. A couple of years where I was stuck in limbo and had time to purposely mold myself instead of just letting life beat me into shape. I don’t know if I would have taken all the time to think and process if I hadn’t been forced to. I think I would have kept on keeping myself too busy to be that deep in thought, too busy to truly reflect on my life. And it’s in that way that God used my sickness for good. He gave me the time I needed to take in everything and realize what I needed to work on and what I needed to change.
I felt like a philosopher sometimes during my illness, not because I was wise, not at all, but because I spent time pondering the big picture things and I spent time looking at how they impacted my life. I took the time to take all the individual pieces and figure out how they were making the big picture, instead of just staring at the picture itself.
It’s helped me continue to look at life like that as I’ve gotten better and better. It’s helped me keep those deep thoughts alive and well feed. I feel like I understand life better now that it’s started up again, simply because I was able to spend so much time decoding it while it was at a standstill.
I don’t want anyone else to have to lose two years of their life. I hope none of you ever find yourself in that position, but I do hope that you take time out of your busy day to day to really reflect on where your morals come from, how the world around you is shaping you, and how you need to shape the world around you. Time to reflect is invaluable, so I suggest we give it the respect it deserves.