That was my biggest takeaway from the Living Well With Lyme's Disease program.
I had been awarded a scholarship to attend the program at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, but by the time the summer rolled around I was off the meds and feeling great. I felt guilty for being there.
But one outstanding lecture pulled all the pieces together for me. Dr. Richard Horowitz connected all the dots to what I had been intuitively feeling the past ten years: that my health problems all related back to Lyme's. It was validating.
Throughout the program I enjoyed the connection, the stories, the relief that it wasn't just me. It was empowering to be surrounded by people who had experienced the same hell that I had — I didn't feel so alone. It was healing. The common threads that ran between us created a space for healing. Profound healing. It even made me wonder if the universe interjected on my behalf — that maybe I was headed on the wrong path all those years ago and Lyme's disease was merely an unplanned detour in the right direction. That maybe I needed to let go of my former self and fully accept and appreciate all that I am right now.
But a funny thing happened as I sat there and listened to all the stories and connected with others. On the one hand I was overjoyed by the connections I had made. But all the talk also brought me right back into the thick of it as I recalled my first struggle with Lyme's.
Where I had walked in feeling great, I had walked out feeling symptomatic. It was like being sucked down a rabbit hole.
Now this is definitely the opposite of what I was expecting to happen at a place like Omega. So I was really flabbergasted how I got pulled down into the muck so quickly. There was a lack of positivity and actionable ways to transform from victim to empowered being. I was so grateful — yet I couldn't get away fast enough. The gloom and doom was just too much.
I made a note to myself in the car that the program could really stand some positivity. And then I left.
While I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, it made me realize how I could best serve people affected by Lyme's Disease — by providing a positive community that focuses on them instead of the disease.