Sometimes, I wake up and realize that as time slips away, my spirit only seems to follow. In those moments, I find that I miss myself. I yearn to feel deeply again, rather than to feel the numbness from die-off signaling a waking death. I quite forget myself, that the “I” that misses myself is me. I am there all along. Nonetheless, I have become certain the worst thing a person can lose is themselves.

…but sometimes, while I drift into a restless slumber, frustrated from reliving the same day for years on end, a slight smile crosses my face as an acknowledgement countering the one I started my day with surfaces. It is the acknowledgement that I am still here and there is no part of me missing. The best gifts I have ever received have come packaged in the moments I truly believed I was losing myself. The holes that tragedy burns within serve as windows for light to shine through us, if we let them. Instead of losing ourselves, we can learn to instead, simply meet new, deeper parts of ourselves. We are able to meet our true selves at our deepest levels, in our rawest forms. With that, I am able to sleep peacefully, because it tells the plot summing up the most genuine stories of my past: Such fiercely intense beauty can only come as a result of equally intense monstrosities.

Without weaknesses being exposed, constant strength would likely lie dormant as well. If I know one thing for sure, it is that Lyme takes life to drastic extremes, both good and bad. No longer does life reside somewhere in between, and I am fairly certain it never will again. To me, the worst symptom of Lyme is not the pain, the external losses, the seizures, or any other number of things one might guess. To me, it is the numbness that often devours me. The inability to feel is the worst feeling in the world. It’s not depression or anger, even those, at their worst, are far better than the feeling of cognitive dissonance, of floating through life. Because of it, only the extreme can snap me or anyone else with this symptom back to feeling. And out of this numbness, the worst feeling in the world, the best one is born: the ability to fearlessly feel the extreme, to be whipped from one world into an entirely new one, and back again. And it is from this that I have learned:

From life, death is born.

From laughter, tears are born.

From good, evil is born.

From chaos, peace is born.

From joy, sorrow is born.

From prison, freedom is born.

From honesty, lies are born.

From hatred, love is born.

And finally, in death, our souls are reborn.


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