How do you get used to the "new you"?

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ttlittlestar
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 3/17/2009 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I am in much better shape than I was a couple of years ago. But the essence of who I was is gone. I could draw. But now I cannot not. Fingers just don't work like they used to. Loved to read. But can't remember half of what I read now. Have a teaching certification. But I am no longer organized enough to plan lessons or keep up with the paperwork. Loved the outdoors, sitting in the grass, working in the garden. But now am afraid to get bit again. Always enjoyed rollerblading and ice skating. But my knees can't take it. Loved to be with people and do things, but now I stick to myself. My moods are all shifted. I barely feel happy feelings but sad is way more intense. Deciding anything is too hard. I guess the bottom line is who I was is gone on every level. And I do not like the new me. It is not me. But it now is me. A friend of mine is a pilot. Never could afford lessons. Before Lyme, I learned enough from reading and being in the plane and playing flight simulator that without a doubt I could take off, fly and land the thing. In fact, I had. Now I cannot remember what does what. How do you accept who you now are if you don't like who you now are?

judy3
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 667
   Posted 3/17/2009 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Keep going ttlittlestar, you got a bit better keep  fighting for more treatment!!What treatment were you on and for how long? I feel terrible for you, as this is how I felt a while back but doing much better now, my last piece was thyroid issues I think

dorit
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 3/17/2009 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
ttlittlestar - yeah, keep going!! I was not as bad as many on here, but when I was reading your post - oh I remember all this so well!!! I could not say it in better words: how to get used to this "new me" - and I too did not like the new me - this nasty "somebody" who was sitting in my body, in my brain and came out with nothing at all I once liked, was used to, was living for. Nasty time. I loved skydiving - but besides all the joint problems and my prolapsed discs I would not dare to do it again b/c I might forget what I am supposed to do before I just hit the ground. Seems as we and many others here are sitting in the same boat.
But I got better with the "new one - me"; I ignored it in the beginning and slowly started to move into it similar to start living in a new place, new home. The way I remember things are different know (i.e. when I read books, do research) - my brain works different , it feels as if it uses other methods or sth to do its job. Sounds strange - but I can give no better picture (besides it is completely new for me to speak openly in such detail about such experiences). Some of my former self came back and feel good again, "moved in" as I call it for myself. Some went away forever as it seems. And some new skills are developing too.

Do not give up! This will get better !!! I started yoga again, have the feeling this helped me some to get in touch with me again. greetings, dorit.

Keeping the Faith
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 3/17/2009 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Julie -- it's Lisa for CT -- haven't called you in awhile, but you are always on my mind.  My heart breaks for you.    I remember your telling me that you have a to-do list on your fridge and it makes you so sad to look at it because you never get to cross anything off.  I was thinking that perhaps you should make a daily list of the things you actually can do, even if it is getting dressed, making a few calls, etc., and see how many things you actually do in a day.  You should be very proud of just getting up and getting ready.  That in itself is a very tough thing to do on certain days.  I always say that I am so proud of my daughter's fight with this illness -- just for the fact that she gets up everyday and gets herself ready is an amazing thing with all of the pain and suffering she is experiencing.  I am very proud of you.  You have been very helpful to me with my situation and you articulate very nicely.  I think you will be amazed with how much you do during a day.  Call me if you ever want to talk.  I will be calling you very soon.  Lisa

Dowa
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1120
   Posted 3/17/2009 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
When I meet someone new and get to know them a little, I find myself telling them "I wish you knew me BEFORE I got sick." And yes, its like we are talking about two different people. It changes us to the degree that we are wondering who we are now. I feel the same way, but I try to think about the kind of person I have become since getting ill. If you really think back, you will find that you are unable to do the things you used to do but I feel that somehow it made me appreciate things more. I dont know if any of you saw Oprah today but it was about how life threatening illnesses (cancer, ms etc) had changed these people to become better people. One thing that comes to my mind that was said was "You dont learn how to appreciate the good things in your life until you experience the bad." Food for thought...take care.  D

nefferdun
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Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 3/17/2009 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
ttlittlestar, I am glad you are better than you were two years ago and I hope you continue to improve and find your old self. I call this my "new normal". .
I hope you try to draw again - maybe with a new style that does not require nimble fingers. Painting is what kept me going this last year. I do not believe I need a sound mind to do it. It is just a gift for healing. Even if the painting was a mess, it opened me up to feel and experience life. Rather than experience every moment with numb detachment, I began to be awestruck by simple little things in nature that I never noticed even when I was well. It also made my mind quiet, placed all of my concerns in the closet and gave me peace. When I am stuck in the misery of what is hurting me now - physical, mental or emotional - I feel trapped. Find something to help you forget.

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 3/17/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not that I don't like the "new me", it's just that I like the "old me" much better. I loved being able to remember things and earn enough money to support my family. The new me has been around for about 12 years but I'm still not comfortable in my skin. I've been pretty stable but I keep expecting the bottom to drop out. I don't trust my body anymore.

I used to create art, now, I can't create, I can only copy. At least it's not all gone.

Dowa, I also find myself telling that to people. Right now, there is no one around me that knew me before Lyme. My oldest was 3 yrs old when I got sick so she doesn't remember me healthy.

That said, most people think I am a healthy, smart, energetic, but slightly flakey person. I fake it well!!!!!

.

ttlittlestar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 3/18/2009 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the encouragement. I am not sure so I can adjust to the new me. I have to record this little blurb about myself for an online profile for a company I shoot photos for on occasion. Simple question I have to answer. Basically why do I like to shoot. I know why in my mind. But I cannot express it in words. Just need a couple of lines. I have been working on this for 2 hours and don't have anything. I feel there is this stranger living in my body.

nefferdun
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 3/18/2009 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you considered you might be infected with bartonella? It gave me exactly the same detachment from myself that you describe. I started treatment a month ago and almost immediately felt more connected to my old self with motivation for the first time in years and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I quit the drug for a few days, feeling I might be having a reaction, and I am falling back into the "nothing matters" grayness. I have a wonderful camera with super lenses that my husband gave me. I used to win ribbons every year at the county fair for my art and photos. I haven't used it in years. I also used to ride and train my horses but that became a lifeless activity I did not have the energy mentally or physically to bother with. I had to set up a schedule for someone to ride with me. When I started blo treatment, I wanted to ride for the first time in a long time. I gave up everything for one reason or another and felt resigned to being old. I took half a pill of the levaquin this morning to see if I can get past the muscle pain. I can't give up that glimmer of hope.

petma
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 3/18/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   

HI nefferdun...boy can I relate to your comments....I was doing so well until the doc decided to take me off the antibiotics to see how I would do....big relapse....blah......I am back to the non-caring person who is just exhausted......wish I had never listened to her suggestion....so now, I have to go through it all again and wait until things even out again...I know they will but this is all very disappointing and depressing.

Petma


susan1122
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/18/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
This is so familiar to me, too. I use to do art....paint, collage...I am too tired to do much of anything. It really feels like a piece is missing. I wish I saw that Oprah show, though. Because in some ways I've become a better person. Not so crazy...too tired. tongue

unwillinghostess
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 3/18/2009 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I am such a different person too!!! I feel for my husband. He's been so awesome through all this though. It took a while to adjust to the new norm and every now and then I'll find new things that I can't do. I used to model and walk a catwalk, now I can barely walk my hallway somedays! Yep, the new me! Guess that's why so many of our friend's grow apart from us. We aren't the same person we were. The dynamics have changed. Most of the friends I like to talk to now have a chronic illness :) We have similiar interest in herbs and wellness and such. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

susan1122
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/18/2009 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
That is a really good point, unwillinghostess, about our friends. We aren't the same people they knew. And yes, most of my friends now have chronic illnesses, too. It's still sad, because a couple of people I use to be good friends with act as if I can't possibly still be sick. And have said some not so nice things...I don't know if they realize it. But I guess they just don't understand. If they don't want to be friends, I can handle it...but I wish they would keep some of the unfeeling comments to themselves. This isn't a lot of my old friends...just a couple. They remind me of those doctors that thought it was all in my head. I'm so over that type of person!

And yeah, I have a wonderful husband, too. He's stuck by me through everything. Focusing on the gratitude helps. : )

hopingToFindCure
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 759
   Posted 3/20/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Aren't you still "you" inside? "You" are still in there. It's the body that's changed. The you -- the one of yesterday, today and tomorow --still exists!

susan1122
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/20/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
That true....our true selves - inside - are still there, are still us.

pcpc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 3/20/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't except a new me...there is help- have you tried Dr Zhang? Have you missed treating for a coninfection? Have your hormones been balanced? Are your neurotranmitters out of whack? I never accept people not getting better. I firmly believe you can regain yourself.

hopingToFindCure
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 759
   Posted 3/20/2009 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
i'm so glad pcpc.

no, i haven't triied Zhang.

sometimes, it does kinda get ya down.

Thanks for not accepting our "new" selves.

I wonder if I should try it?

ttlittlestar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 3/20/2009 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I just ordered Dr. Zhang's book. You get a free phone consultation with Dr. Zhang if you read his book.

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 3/20/2009 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   

ttlittlestar, everyone has given such great advice.  Lisa, I love your idea of focusing on what can be done.

Are you being treated by a knowledgeable doctor?  Which infections do you have? Tick-borne diseases can affect many things inlcuding hormones.  Have you had thyroid, adrenal, and hormone testing done?  Have you had immune function testing done?  Let your doctor know how you are feeling.

It can take time, but with proper treatment you can get better.  You will get back to doing the things you enjoy.  In the meantime, do everything you can to strengthen your body and immune system. 

Do you like music?  Lisetning to music can be very healing.

Do what you can do now and know that in time you will get back to doing the things you love. And when you do get back to them, you will appreciate them even more.

Hang in there okay?

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