Finding Your Inner Stubbornness: Why Becca Has Decided She Will Never Give Up on Herself, & Why You Shouldn’t Either

Often times our preconceived ideas come from a place of not-knowing. Of believing we’re in the right without taking the time to sit on the other side of things. To shift over just enough to see that maybe, maybe, things aren’t as they seem. People, situations, conversations, and places aren’t as they seem. That though we can claim we would have done something differently from someone else, we will never know as we are not them and they are not us.

The best thing we can do when making room for stories to be shared, is to listen. To simply listen, only responding when we are sure there is a gentle-ness surrounding our words and voice, hoping that in return, they will do the same as we share our experiences.

It really is a beautiful thing, story telling. It’s an opportunity to gain insight into a world very unlike our own. To join movements that we otherwise wouldn’t. To believe in something and advocate for it when before, it might not have even been on our radar.

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A Body That’s Breathing Is a Body That’s Beautiful: A Free-Verse Poem by Jacquelynne

When People ask me how I stay in shape
I don’t remember what shape that is
These days hourglasses only tell me there’s no time for this 
My thighs used to announce me before I did
But now that I’m thinner, I think it might be my soul
When you’re rebuilding your body from ashes “Bigger”’s not a goal 
Like just adding rooms to a flooding house 
So the water has someplace else to go

It’s suddenly so much more important to know how it works
And if you can really read abs like life lines 
It makes you ask these questions about working so hard on something so Fleeting 
Chasing strength on treadmills when you’re worried ‘bout it leaving 
Like what does it mean to have a pretty face if you were born with it 
And what does it mean to have a hot body if it’s gone with one bout of depression 
Or when you’re finally content with just one person to love you 

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Chloe O'NeillComment
We’re Celebrating Over 80 Stories Told Through the More Than Lyme Community

After impatiently waiting for the water to boil so I could steep my tea, wrap up in a blanket, and cozy up with my computer to write this out to you—somehow trying to come up with the “right” words to sum up over 80 stories told through the More Than Lyme community, I realized how close I was to writing you an apology.

In short, I was going to come here and apologize for the past two months where no new stories were posted, and though you could argue that that’s exactly what I’m doing here, apologizing, I want to use this tendency as an opportunity (or maybe excuse) to take those feelings of inadequacy, of letting you down, to celebrate what we have.

To celebrate all the voices that have been heard and stories that have been told since we first became a community.

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A Few Words, by Annie Perkins: A Poetical Synopsis Through Losing One's Self to Chronic Illness & Why It Took Letting Go Believe in the Possibility of Healing

A few words,

Self, learn, honesty, trust, fear release, and possible.

Those seem to sum it. This journey has taken time. It has taken strength. It has taken following my intuition when things seems too daunting, too foggy, too confusing.

It had me take many long walks through the dark. I knew no matter how hard some times were, anything was better than going backwards. So I pushed, some days when I shouldn’t have, for five years now. The old phrase “If I knew then what I know now” echos through my mind. My life is so different now. Not only am I seeing progress, I am also beginning to become one version of myself, not many. I am becoming the me that lay hidden in the background for so many years, that I thought I left her.

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I Found Out I Had Lyme, But Then I Lost Myself: A Story By Julie Maio

Not only does Julie have an incredibly unique way of getting you to put yourself in her shoes, but you can tell, without question, that she's here to not only to share her experiences of Chronic Illness, and how to help those better understand the complications and stigmas behind it, but to stand by you and listen. Really, really listen...

Listen to what might be weighing on you, your (even if small) triumphs through it all, and the way in which you've decided to heal; no judgment, just a presence that reminds you you're not alone. 

Julie (or as many call her, Yoolie), opens up about the way this disease, amongst other complications, can strip you of your sense of self--what it means to be you.

And she'd like you to join in, no matter the obstacle that brought you here.

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It Couldn’t Be That Bad, Right? On Vulnerability, Invisible Turmoil, and Being a Voice for Others in the Face of Chronic Illness

Vulnerability is hard; in speaking with others, in writing about our experiences, and even more so publishing those musings online for all to see and dissect.

During college, I relished connecting with others and exchanging stories. I was frequently inspired by others’ struggles, dreams, and ambitions. I loved sharing my history and seeing how such different backgrounds could overlap with common hurdles that had been overcome.

Until one spring during my senior year, something went wrong. Parts of me were changing and I didn’t know why. These changes were so profound that I didn’t trust my mind, my emotions, or myself anymore. The person I once was, slowly started slipping away.

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