More Like Wilderness: A Story Through Lyme To Wellness By Shona Curley
From intense sensitivity to everything around her, years of never really knowing what was wrong, the unfolding of what felt like the beginning of it all, to the kind of re-entry into health that leads you through the unexpected, terrifying, and yet-to-be-explored, Shona has moved forward by way of tireless dedication and love for her practice, and time spent looking inwards just as much as out.
Let's dive in, shall we?
This is her story...
Lyme Disease: Spiritual Task Master
It took four years for me to be diagnosed with Lyme. Over the course of that time I became sick, non-linearly, in ups and downs, loops and surges, strange and disturbing ways. My mind was affected. I felt overwhelmed by loud noises, as though they were penetrating my body. A touch could send waves of nausea through me. Movies in the theater? The intense visuals and sound invaded my brain and coursed through my body, making me hide in the bathroom. What on earth was happening? I was so obviously unwell, but for four years no doctor seemed to have a clue what to do with me. I was left alone.
I tried all kinds of approaches in an effort to heal myself, and the ones that worked most effectively were spiritual. In fact, Lyme seemed to tune my brain to the spirit, perhaps to the quantum -- the other side of the veil. This was its gift. Alone, in quiet, I could slip into a lucid, half dreaming state. I directed my dreaming body up the trunks of trees, into their unfolding leaves. I dissolved down into dry dirt, spreading out, becoming its vast aliveness. I traveled back to my younger selves, my emotions fresh and physical. I held myself at six and fourteen years old. I sat with myself as a wrinkled old lady, with death a guest in the room.
I knew, somehow, that now wasn’t my time to die.
I knew this was a part of my education; painful and awful, interminable, terrifying – but that I would someday return to health, and to work. I found ways to accept this, day by day, moment by moment, by allowing myself to fall in to the surreal and often beautiful dreamlike visions that were the treasure Lyme offered. I wanted to emerge changed. I wanted to emerge healthier than before; emotionally, spiritually. I wanted to bring something back from my illness, something to help other people.
I have taught experiential anatomy through movement for twenty years, and my Lyme-enhanced astral abilities were a boon – making it even more possible to experience physiology first hand, and to direct it toward health. My lymph system felt like a spring rain, trickling through my body, collecting in crystalline pools, washing me clear and clean. I could build a fire in my liver that burned toxicity almost sexually, heat deepening to my core. My bone marrow lit up like rivers of sunlight, powering white blood cells, distributing them as warriors through my veins.
I wrote down my favorite visualizations. I recorded them on my phone, revising over and over. I listened to them in the middle of the night, when Lymie panic and nightmares would descend. The recordings settled me. They put me back to sleep.
I began to recover. I knew this was my strange, personal path – this was the way forward.
Eventually I found an amazing doctor who totally got Lyme, and got me. I went back to teaching, slowly. I hired an old friend who helped me produce and record my meditations. I launched a website hosting them, and began blogging about ways to channel the mind and spirit on the road to healing Lyme.
Now I can feel myself getting well. Every day is different, but I feel boredom again, and restlessness, and the trite nonsense that captures the mind of the healthy. This is all welcome, but I never want to lose what Lyme taught me. Death is next to us all the time. The veil is thin.
We are more fluid than we know, and less human, more like wilderness, more deeply magical than meets the eye.
the incredibly inspiring Shona lives in San Francisco
with her man, her two kids, their old dog, and a weirdo cat.
You can find Shona’s album of meditations for healing Lyme, The Cells’ Breath, here.