We all know that support is key. Support is the life-line we all need to keep fighting mentally and physically. Some of us are extremely lucky and have a strong, circle of people buoying us up. For others, our Online Community is their main source of comfort and support. Nobody should feel guilty or embarrassed for needing extra support and love from people in order to keep fighting this difficult battle.
With health issues come many complications and especially with an illness like Lyme which is still widely misunderstood. Friends and family members can struggle to come to terms with our health problems or fully understand them. We shouldn’t feel upset by the fact that we feel some of our cloest friends are within the Lyme community and online. It doesn’t mean we love our family or our friends any less but the quote, ‘You don’t get it ’til you get it’ rings true. Often, we need to talk to people we can relate to and seek out stories we can find comfort in from those who can relate the most. LDUK prides itself on offering the best level of support we possibly can.
When I put the question above to the LDUK Community, I knew there would be some heart-warming responses and I was right. The answers are solid proof of how key support is but also how inspiring our Community is and those that care for us. The friendship and support our members offer others when they too are struggling with their own battles, is truly inspiring. I see it, day in day out when people who are crying out for some advice, help and support post upsetting messages to the group and people dedicate time to give detailed and sound advice.
So, grab your tissues and take a read of some of the responses that the LDUK Community shared with me:
‘My neighbour and friend Emma Eeke took me to Ireland to see Dr L last October and without her, I could have never made the journey.’
‘I was so moved when a few of the mums at my children’s school ran a stall at the school fair for LDUK. I always felt Iike I was the rubbish mum who couldn’t give lifts or have other children over for tea and couldn’t believe that they’d planned it between themselves to support me and the cause. Still makes me well up!’
‘My cousin comes with me to my Rife treatment. It’s a 4 hour round trip every two weeks! Also, gotta give my husband a bit of credit because he helps day to day.’
‘This post has given me another flashback about the group! A friend of a friend’s child was bitten on holiday in Cyprus a couple of years ago. I posted on the group to ask for advice and Ioylia Gregoriou offered to meet the family and take them to see a local doctor while they were out there. Couldn’t believe it! So kind!’
‘I have a friend who will come and pick me up so that we can go for a walk or have a cuppa or something. She knows that the driving wouldn’t leave enough energy for doing anything else so that means a great deal and I value getting out in the countryside so much. I have to give full credit to my husband too. He can be a bit thoughtless sometimes, but who can’t!? But he copes with the constant change in my abilities and we’re working hard on communicating to make sure we are both being understood and helping one another. It’s important to me that he isn’t unhappy because he thinks he should drop everything to look after me, but his understanding means the world, as I’m not sure I understand it and it’s happening to me!!’
‘When I was struggling to get any kind of diagnosis and getting increasingly ill, a lady who’s only really an acquaintance offered to come to the doctor with me and pretend to be my mum as she was worried, I wasn’t being taken seriously! I didn’t take her up on it, but at the time I wasn’t getting anywhere and my real family (other than my husband) were suggesting I should just “adapt to the new normal” and kept reminding me “how grumpy I’d been lately,” so this meant so much. It may also have been what prompted me to drag my husband along to appointments.’
‘I’ve been struggling to write this as it’s hard to put into words. I have one person who has been there for me through my Lyme journey. The amount of love and support is indescribable in both the big things and the little things every single day. It is incredible. I’m so grateful to have this person who is there with a fully open heart even if some days are really challenging, or even if they’re better days, or if I’m short fused or just plain wired! Aside from taking me places, all that really truly mattered to me was the depth of humanity and empathy, kindness and love – the giving of friendship and not just taking. Showing me I’m never fully alone wherever, whenever, however.’
I hope the comments above make you thankful and grateful for the people who add sparkle to your lives, a shoulder to cry on and who are simply there through thick and thin. I also hope it inspires you to lend a hand or an ear or provide a shoulder to cry on for someone else. Remember, small acts go along way. Just a simple text or a hug could brighten someone’s day more than words can truly explain.
Once again, thank you to all the people who shared their stories, experiences and heart-warming comments.
Keep fighting strong, sharing, feeling and spreading the love.