I wanted to start this post off by addressing my absence from the blog for the past few months, not as an excuse but more as an explanation (this post had originally been started after the holiday season, and it has been a bit of a toughie to get out of my system). I have been diagnosed with Lymes Disease. I had been having a very hard time focusing on a lot of things, if not everything in general. It’s been difficult for me to keep in touch with friends and family and keep my head on straight. After many a long winded discussion with my mother about all of the things that had been upsetting me (lack of focus, forgetfulness that would seem comical to others, constant head aches/aches in my body, extreme lethargy and depression being the main symptoms) she decided to take me to get tested. She had just recently been diagnosed herself for similar reasons so it made sense for me to get checked out*. I was almost more frightened that I might not have Lymes, and if I didn’t that would have just meant that there was something else that was wrong with me. I felt broken and useless.
Once the official diagnoses came in for me it was almost a wave of relief. I had been suffering for months, if not years, with so many problems that I thought were just part of what made me me. It was and still is extraordinarily frustrating. My sense of direction was garbage (when you are having trouble figuring out how to get to the mall you’ve been shopping at forever and worked at for nearly two years you know something is off), I had no focus or drive for anything, my body was aching, and I was depressed. It was very trying for me to try and keep a schedule for art or blogging, sometimes even seeing friends. Every time I would think to myself “THIS will SURELY get done today” it almost never did. All I wanted to do was escape my current life and to know what feeling like a real person was like. Even as I continue to write this blog post itself I find that I am having trouble finding the right words to make sure I don’t just sound as if I am complaining – my end goal is to make a comic about it. It’s much easier for me to put my feelings into pictures rather than words most times.
The good thing to come out of this though is that both my Mother and I have gotten the medication that we need. The doctor mentioned I would be feeling worse before it got better and it’s going to be a long recovery with ups and downs, but I am grateful that I’ll even bounce back from this. I remember waking up one morning with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and excitement. It was so strange that I thought I was going crazy, I hadn’t felt that happy in years, and nothing significant had even happened yet that day! The aching in my hip had disappeared, which I had originally just thought it was constant because of my weight and posture (I have terrible posture from sitting at desks and drawing for years and I am currently the heaviest I’ve ever been) and the headaches and depression went away rather quickly as well. It’s still a roller-coaster with my highs and lows, but things are coming around.
My ultimate ideals are to do things that I thought I could never do and to regain my drive to move forward. I want to dedicate more time to the blog, to my artwork and to being fit and healthy. I don’t want to feel as though I’m drowning anymore. Even now the symptoms come and go in waves but I am learning to deal with them with every new day. At some point I may go into more detail about it, especially to see if other readers are experiencing anything similar – I am certainly willing to talk about this and share information whether it be negative or positive. For now though, I just wanted to say “hello” again!
*Note: for anyone who isn’t familiar with lymes disease (probably most readers on the West Coast or outside of North America) this is not a disease that is genetic or contagious. The connection between Alexa and her mother both being tested for the disease comes from their common shared responsibility of taking care of horses in a barn where ticks are present.