Featured Artist Arielle Coree, Shares Soulful Words For The Healing Heart: A Collection of Poetry and Soul Musings for Those on a Healing Journey

Within these pages you will find the unfiltered and spirit filled words of my soul. Some of these were written in the depths of depression while others were written to capture the fleeting moments of hope, light and empowerment. Some are directly related to my personal healing journey with Lyme and others are simply a tribute to life in this world as a soulful and highly sensitive woman with dreams larger than the Universe itself. There is no right or wrong way to experience this collection of thoughts.

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I Don’t Want to Be the Girl I Used to Be: Kelsey’s Thoughts on Embracing Change in the Face of Lyme Disease

Personality tests are all the rage right now. Everyone wants to know their Myers Briggs type or number on the Enneagram. What’s funny though is that if we take these tests every few years, our results will typically change. Inherently we’re the same person, but yet we’ve changed somehow. More times than not, we change because of our life experiences.

Whether these be times of sadness or great joy, experiences shape who we are. For example, we hear all the time about people who act completely different after a near death experience or some form of trauma. Today, I’m here to tell you about some of the life experiences that changed me completely.

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Freeing Words: After Losing Her Ability to Move, Anna Found Hope in Letters of Encouragement, Even When She Couldn’t Pick Up a Pen

I was riding in the van with my family. It was late at night after a full day at my clinic receiving treatments. I remember clearly my lack of mental clarity, how I couldn’t think straight, or even see straight. It was like I had a constant fever, even when my head wasn’t hot. I honestly couldn’t tell what was “real.”

Were my parents really my parents? Was I really alive? I would say something and immediately question if I had really said it and then say it again ten seconds later. That particular night, I was obsessed with something random—grilled cheese sandwiches.

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The Burden That Blooms: Heart-led Thoughts From the Partner of Someone With Lyme Disease

This isn’t a stance we normally take. This isn’t a perspective that that I’m used to standing in. This isn’t the road I normally walk down when going to share with you a new voice. This isn’t what I’m used to and I’m quite certain it’s exactly what’s needed.

When things aren’t going well, I get caught up in my own thoughts. I retreat. I try and piece together “next steps” that seem somewhat logical and straightforward, only to be adjusted time and time again. Illness, it’s a funny thing, and sometime a selfish thing, as I don’t often think about what those around me must be feeling. Of how they are needing to process. Are they wanting to retreat? Are they also terrified? How are they going to deal with this? How are they going to get through this, too?

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I See You, I See You, I See You.

In the all the years I had been sick, it was the name, not the healing, that I learned to hope would bring me away from it. I sought labels to bring to me a vision of health where I didn't have it, a grand and glowing 'after' to long years of reaching for health where there had been none. To root me to a place in the world that was knowable, chartered. Relief for so many years I thought would hinge upon a diagnosis and my ache was always for this. With the finality and knowability of diagnosis comes a trajectory forth. I learned to live without labels, learned to live with the body's dual offerings of possibility and constraint, with the understanding that the body is the way and the very thing that blocks the way.

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Chloe O'Neill Comment
The Scars Make the Lakes and Mountains: A Story and Poem By Author Andrea Sheldon

For so long I shied away from sharing my story.

I told myself I couldn't find the words. I told myself nobody would relate. And I told myself my story had already been written by others. I'd visit the More Than Lyme blog and read other people's stories and felt bolstered by the shared experience, and at the same time left out on the fringes as if the community was closed to me. As an introvert who is also terribly shy, I didn't know how to connect, to reach out. I became fearful of trying after becoming so isolated from the world around me, as friends stopped relating to the pain I was in, as they defined me by the disease, I started to define myself in the same way - by my lack, by the pain and isolation, by the trauma. I love reading everyone else's stories, and still feel that mine is somehow invalidated - that I always have words until it comes to this chapter - the lyme chapter. I stand in frozen terror. I want to take my power back, to take my story back, to connect, to change the narrative.

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