Gaining Creative Confidence with Lyme: Thoughts on how It's Changed My Life + the Incredible People I've Met Because of It

More Than Lyme Real Talk

This past month or so has been something of a whirlwind, somehow managing to feel every emotion from a to z, but doing my best see it as a good thing. Yes, there are days when feeling everything can feel like too much, and it's all I can do to not crumble beneath the weight of nearly everything that comes my way. But then, then there are days where I don't feel anything at all, and there I am, begging my mind to let me take hold of something, anything, just as long as it allows for a change in emotion. In feeling. In how I view this moment right now. 

A cycle, loop, or phase, whatever you wish to call it, they are no small feat and should not be taken lightly. Ever since I can remember, I've made my way around these different phases, doing my best to land somewhere in between, hoping that the momentum from the overload of emotions, or lack there of, will push me to "get it done" before that feeling of confidence and motivation for the task at hand once again lands itself just out of reach. 

I do hope this makes sense? Maybe if I show you where I'm headed with this it will. 

I've always been this way, so attributing it all to Lyme wouldn't be fair, but I do like to put a little bit of weight on the idea that having an active bacterial infection in my body adds to the rollercoaster that I find myself on almost daily. Not just that, but knowing that more often than not, this isn't entirely a biological Chloe thing, it's a bigger-than-me-thing that I can still do something about, thereby putting myself back in control of the things I wish to do and how I go about doing them.

The reality of it is, there will always be times when it all feels like too much and I do need to take a step back, allowing myself to feel it all or not at all, ultimately finding myself in a much better place to "get back to it," whatever "it" is. Then again, that's the way this works: the looping, circling back, and phases that I find myself in, somehow have a way of reminding me of who I am and the power that I do have in such situations to do something about it.

To grab the shoulders of my emotions and look them head on, letting them know that I understand why they're there, why I wouldn't want them to be anything other than what they are, but why I have to do what I have to do in order to move from one moment to the next.

And that my friends, is to create.

To get curious and dive in. To ask yourself, what small thing can I do right now that will make me feel more like me and less like my body is being controlled by the back and forth's of it all. How can you get to this place without putting more pressure on yourself to be anything more? Because you don't need to be, you just need to hone in on those little things that help lift you back up. That give you perspective and confidence in the process of things. 

The hard but worth it part: Thanks to these back and forth's, my confidence has taken a beating, always managing to push my curious and determined self back into hiding. Back to a place where doing things like writing, crafting, filming, photography, and even adventures, becomes more pressure based and less natural. More "you should be doing this, so go and do it" and less of "gosh, this feels good so I think I'll keep at it." You see, there's a huge difference, and until I was able to get myself to a place where in doing these things, I felt alive and full of hope for the moments ahead, instead of pushing myself in unhealthy ways to be doing something, anything, all the time, none of it felt right and I wondered if it ever would.

Short answer, it will, don't worry. 

You simply being here and reminding yourself of who you are and the things that you like to do, where you're coming from, and where you're at right now, is the first step to creating from a place of "what feels right" rather than "what you think you should be doing."

This is huge, you've made it: And you want this because you know that amidst all the obstacles, you're wanting to tap back into what makes you thrive and feel alive. You're wanting to live now rather than later, knowing that no matter how difficult things may be, creating and doing the things that you love is, and and always will be, worth it. Not just that, but in doing those things, you are giving yourself permission to heal. To rebuild the wounds that lack of confidence while fighting a chronic illness (or whatever the obstacle may be) has left you with, and to not be afraid of the ups and downs, knowing that they too have helped you get to where you are right now.

And look how far you've come, pretty amazing don't you think? 


NOw, a little bit as to why I decided to share this with you:

Creating has not only changed the way I look at my life, but it has become an integral part of my healing process, I would even dare to say 50% of it, and I want you to feel that too. I want to help give you the tools that you will need to take curiosity and put it at the forefront of everything you do. Crazy? Maybe so, but I promise you, this will make the hard parts and the whirlwinds so much easier. Every day, I am mentally stronger and more motivated than ever before, and in part that is due to the above, but it's also due to the people that are now in my life because of it. Because of the vulnerability, sharing, creating, and adventuring, I find myself surrounded by others that encourage me to just that. 

These people, they're you. You have changed me for the better. You have replaced fear with hope and lack of confidence with the building blocks that I need to see myself as whole and beautiful, crazy amounts of emotion and all! 

So let's do this together, shall we? Let's arm ourselves with curiosity and take on the tides of feeling everything and nothing at all. 

We've so got this, 

Chloe


Interested in sharing your story? 

So very excited about More Than Lyme's feature on the She Explores Podcast...

Join me as I talk with Gale Straub (founder of She Explores) on redefining strength