Rise and Thrive: A Story of Lyme Disease, Dance, the Negative Side of the Word “Heal,” and Why Hannah Has Never Thought of Herself As Broken & Needing to Be Fixed

Sometimes a diagnosis can feel like a death sentence.

Whether your particular sentence is an injury, illness, or mental health condition, it can feel as though the walls are closing in. It’s as if there’s no escape and no way back to the life you once lived. At least this is how I felt when I was diagnosed with not just Lyme disease, but also heavy metal poisoning, mold toxicity, and a garden variety of parasites.

I was 32, with a three-year-old son, assorted jobs, and a life that simply didn’t accommodate chronic illness. I was devastated. I shook with fear, with disbelief, with denial. Now I refer to myself as the luckiest Lyme patient alive...

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Chronic Illness Reimagined as Something Glamorous: Through Color, Love + the Stories that Go Unheard, Rora Blue is Creating a Whole New Platform to Share Your Voice From

Why you should get to know Rora Blue 

When we think of sharing, our mind often jumps to the thing that we're most familiar with, whether that be words, video, public speaking - or something terrifying that we'd rather not do. So when we are witness to someone sharing in a way you've never seen before, it can take a moment to catch your breath. To realize the power that we have to create an entire platform that gives a voice to those stories that we'd rather not share.

And to step back and see that we too could take a piece of ourselves and share from that place too.

The uncomfortable, painful, raw, vulnerable, and all too real thoughts. So many times I've written something out then erased it, even if it was only for my eyes. So many times I've gone to say something to someone and backed out at the last minute - as if my heart and mind are both trying to win me over. 

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Who I Am Now: With a New Understanding of Acceptance, Dedication, and Strength, Amber Discovers What It Means to Let Go in the Face of Chronic Lyme Disease

My name is Amber Overholt and I've been battling Chronic Lyme Disease for the better part of my life. I was diagnosed in April 2014 and have been in treatment ever since. Like most suffering from this chronic illness, I've tried antibiotics, truckloads of supplements and countless holistic therapies. My symptoms have ranged from mild to debilitating, including fatigue, seizures, thyroid dysfunction, Bell's palsy, migraines, memory loss, vertigo, hormone balances, cognitive decline, tremors, joint pain, anxiety, gastrointestinal issues and everything in between. But (believe it or not), I'm not here to talk about that. About the medications and treatments and the revolving door of doctors, but instead, I want to share with you some of the challenges I've endured and the lessons I've learned throughout my journey.

This is what I've learned about letting go...

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We Are More Than Our Stories: Tick Medicine, Thanking Your Suffering + Lyme Disease as the Greatest Teacher 

This my friends is Andy Vantrease 

"Lyme Disease taught me to relinquish control, to lean in and accept the unknown, something that proved incredibly challenging for me as I watched my life slip between my fingers. Looking back, I desperately needed this. It forced me to pay attention to what I put in my body, my thought patterns, my feelings and emotions, which I had numbed for years through substance abuse and just plain neglect. It forced me to listen to what I needed on a minute-to-minute basis.

Above all of that, though, I realized that I am not my story. I am not my pain. I am not this disease. I am not even my body. I am so much more."

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This Is What Lyme Looks Like: On Being Your Own Best Advocate, Why Compassion Is Essential to Healing, and How Thriving Is Possible When Facing a Chronic Illness

You may look at me and assume I am healthy. And to be honest, so did most friends, family members and doctors. But, the truth is, this is what Lyme Disease looks like.

On the inside there is pain, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety, heart palpitations, numbness, muscle cramping, headaches, and disease. On the outside there is the strength of a woman trying to fight through each day without anyone seeing the struggle.

Lyme disease is something that, in my opinion, the medical field does not discuss enough. It is something that far too many people are fighting without a diagnosis. We are misdiagnosed time and time again and why? 

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Why Sylvie Believes Creativity Means Choosing Curiosity Above Habit: On Being Fluid, Vulnerable, and Raw in Her Art + Fight Against Lyme Disease

It's 9pm on a Thursday and I am swaying and clapping and doing the chicken dance with a group of strangers. My awkwardness is melting, a smile pulling at the side of my mouth. Mostly I am thoroughly captivated by the leader. He’s a magical man who might have been a preacher in another life so I listen when mid lesson he stops and exclaims, “You don’t sing to make pretty music, you sing to feel the music. You sing to express your joy and sorrow. You sing as a release valve. You sing with your whole body.” 

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