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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Love + Our Innate Ability To Heal: How Gabbie Li Uses Nature To Move Through Hours, Days, and Months Of Fighting Lyme Disease

I find myself in the isothermal region of North Carolina in a collapsed squat on a mossy rock, sure not to touch the trees, plants, and brush that I rarely find the courage to return to. The chickweed, poison ivy, and mountain flora around me lay heavy from the moisture that continues to blanket the region from the early morning passing of the clouds. I can barely hear myself talking to the plants, chanting a line from a book that had struck me as exactly this place. It’s a place where I feel like I haven’t quite died, yet it is quiet, primal, and dense with moisture and mystery. Frozen in my squat, legs increasingly numb, I talk to and draw the plants because if I don’t, I’m positive I’ll crumble and be lost forever. I came to these mountains to get out of my own head of soul crushing thoughts and it turns out that can sometimes be impossible when it comes to the stronghold that inflammation can have over my brain. I only arrived to this mossy rock by means of a complete breakdown in the middle of no where, screaming for help that took me out of a cabin and led me down a steep path off the side of a switchback road. 

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Endurance: A Lyme Disease Story Founded On Persistence, Determination + the Reminder That You Are Not Alone

I've had chronic neurological Lyme since 2006, and am incredibly lucky to have been mostly in remission for the past three years. When I was first lost in the fog of Lyme, fighting to survive day-to-day, bewildered by the controversy surrounding this illness, I held on to the stories of others as a lifeline. When I finally felt well enough, I made a video about my own experience with Lyme in the hope that I could be that lifeline for someone else. 

Reflecting on what living with Lyme has meant to me, “endurance” is a word that I return to again and again. So many of us have learned to endure far beyond what we thought possible, persisting and surviving and finding strength in small victories.

This video is for anyone struggling to endure another day, a simple reminder that you are not alone.

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Fueled By Nature: Annie's Take On Thriving, Creating, and Living a Life More Than Chronic Lyme Disease

A young woman that brings movement and life to the pain filed moments, transitions, and sudden shifts that inevitably happen when living with Chronic Late Stage Lyme Disease. A young woman who takes charge and creates from a place of curiosity and an unbreakable love for nature and those that help to make her life full, vibrant, and so much more than. 

She pauses, listens, really, really listens, and takes note of the world around her. Both the good and the bad, the successes and the pitfalls, using them as reasons to keep moving forward with her treatment, and working hard at not just giving but receiving love from herself as she faces each "ah ha" validation and seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Annie is meeting herself where she is, while not hesitating to make great strides into the world that has now opened up to her. 

- art, nature, connection, love, letting go, and so much more - 

This her her story.

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Ready to Take on the World: How Dani's Fierce Passion For Self-Expression Has Led Her to Her Best Self, a Confident 24-Year-Old Queen Fighting Lyme Disease

I'm a 24-year-old queen with a fierce passion for glamour, fashion, and music.

I also happen to be dealing with multiple chronic illnesses as a result of late-stage persistent Lyme disease. I've been in relapse for the past two years throughout which I've been trying to finish a doctoral program for physical therapy. During this time, I've fought to maintain the life I once had as well as my own identity. I've struggled through non-relationships where the other person didn't believe in my illness, called me dramatic, or just plain ran away from the gut-wrenching reality of what I go through on a daily basis. I've had lower lows than I ever could've imagined, breaking down my entire sense of self and having to build it back up entirely on my own.

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I Did It Anyway: Maddy's Story On Finding Her Adventure + Redefining What It Means to be Determined in Her Pursuit of Happiness + Fight Against Lyme Disease

I grew up with a love of the outdoors, playing in the ravine next to my house that ran down to Lake Michigan with my twin brother. I frolicked in my local neighborhood parks, rode bikes from dusk to dawn without a care in the world. I ran track and cross country and fell in love with graphic design, film photography and philosophy in high school. I also found a deep passion for music - something I’d realize later on is one of the few things Lyme cannot take away from me as well as something that brings me peace, joy and hope.

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