Yesterday I was chatting with a friend in Puerto Rico briefly. I told her I couldn't stay at someones house because I couldn't be there without paying them something and I'm not working currently. She says quickly, "yes you can, it's okay to receive help." I was completely shocked and thought to myself, "wow, she's right." She said that we have to detach from our colonizers ways. That we are tribal people. We have our community and it's supposed to be that way. It's not like that here in the U.S much. I've never felt that and when I go to PR I feel it. I've always felt so isolated here. Having a community is so important. It's not normal or healthy to be on your own, isolated.
Chronic illness and Covid taught me it's okay to have your alone time, but shit, after a while you will start to go insane, a good example is solitary confinement. How the hell can someone experience that and the system expects them to go back into the general population and be a normal, functioning human in society?
For years I struggled with my health, alone. Getting a Lyme diagnosis is hard. I had seen dozens of doctors, specialists, with no answers, FOR DECADES. It was such a confusing situation because how do you explain to someone who doesn't get it that you are sick but all these doctors are saying you're fine. You start to think your insane and that other people will think the same so you isolate and start to pull away from people. It's easier that way. You just keep to yourself and you don't have to explain. At least that's what I did. But like I said we need community.
After diagnosis I obviously found my community but it took so long. I think now it's way easier to find it with how far social media has come. Search a hashtag and a bunch of accounts and people will be right there but when I was confused as fuck 15 years ago, in high school I was completely alone. I started to think being in pain, and confused, and lonely was how everybody felt. And then you realize you live in NYC, such a populated place, and it's filled with people who are so damn lonely. We as a people in this country are NOT okay. ASK FOR HELP. If the person you ask can't help you don't be discouraged. Find someone else. I used to think everybody was my enemy, due to past experiences and trauma, but there are good people out there. I know I try my best to be one of them. Reach out to people if you don't have people. It's like dating haha, trial and error. But in the chronic illness community, not even just the Lyme community, HELL just in general, you can find your people. People don't have to be your blood to be your family.
Sometimes people who are your blood are just your relatives and not much else. People who are loyal to you and are always there in the happiest and darkest of times are your family. And if you can't find you people, message me, and you can be part of my family.
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As always, thank you for reading!