Pam - your post really touched me, especially the last sentence. Sometimes I wonder how we find a place inside us to adjust to the reality of the PAIN and misery that haunt our days and nights. I feel skagy guy's thread title; I want to be normal, too. I honestly do not remember what it is like to sleep through the night and to wake up feeling refreshed, to assume when I rise that I can do what I want without a thought of whether or not my body will let me, to plan a trip or a social event without concern that I won't be able to make it at the last minute because I am sick, to participate fully in life without negotiating through a haze of pain and other distracting symptoms. Normal looks enticing from here, but I can't say I have a clear concept of how it would feel anymore. There are days when the anguish of realizing what I don't have eats into my soul. I don't want to battle depression or fear anymore, or to remain positive on days where I feel so awful I'm wishing I could die because any end of this suffering is more attractive than living with it. That's where I go on my dark days.
I don't let myself go there very often, but I think it is therapeutic sometimes to express these feelings because they are real, and honest. It takes courage not only to be positive in the face of adversity, but also to face the beast as it is and to talk about
the underbelly of optimism; a more unsettling place to linger. When I am finished, I pop back up to the positive certainty that I will get better, and even feel gratitude that this disease has taught me patience and humility and empathy at a level not possible had I not suffered so much. Lyme facilitates character building. That's the greatest gift I've gotten as compensation for my suffering. I am a far better person, more insightful, more caring, more understanding BECAUSE I have been so sick for so long and because I must work so hard to overcome this. I want to get healthy and to go on from here, but I can't really say I'd change where I've been. Probably that's the most normal I can get.
I have Lyme; it doesn't have me.