They say when you have nothing to lose, you can only gain, isn’t it? I’ve heard many times in my life the sentence: “well, you have nothing to lose”. Then, I’ve also heard “there is always something to lose”. I believe that there is always something to lose. If nothing else anymore, then the hope. However, I can honestly tell you guys from my own experience, there are situations in which it feels like there is really not much to lose, sometimes you have just very little left to lose. As sad as all this sounds, the good thing about it is that any risk you are going to take is pretty low then….
For those who don’t know, I’ve been struggling with certain health issues for a pretty long time. For years….and it’s now been almost two years since the worst broke out again. A long story short, for almost two years I hadn’t known what had been wrong with me, although ever since then, for more than 600 days, I would wake up every day with joint pain, muscle rigidity and a feeling like I drank a bottle of some acid corroding me inside, and with my head like after a wild night where liters of strong alcohol were involved. And some other symptoms, too. Doctors in my country didn’t find anything anywhere and just kept telling me I was a healthy person, thus I always ended up being advised to make an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Not really being successful in trying to make a peace with all that, when I was about to give up, I finally found the answer. After months of searching, googling and talking with people with similar symptoms, I decided to give it a last try and visited a specialist in the Netherlands, got tested again by a specialized laboratory in Germany, and after years of incomprehension of others I finally got confirmed something I had already guessed right for a long time. I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease and other, mostly corresponding crap. Most people know only that it’s something you get from ticks. Yes, but it’s like saying you get lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. It’s all much more complicated. Lyme disease is a real pain in the ass. It’s a real shit. And most importantly, let me say it again, it’s real. But I don’t want to talk about it now, I’m meaning to write my story some other time soon.
The thing is that this “innocent” disease can totally turn your life upside down. And so has mine. 300-320 days a year you feel like you have a bad hangover, even though you don’t drink any alcohol at all. Most of the days, your brain doesn’t work and you feel like being high, whereas, however, you don’t get any nice feelings or states of mind at all, but the contrary, you get very depressed. Some days you feel bad, some days worse. Some days you struggle to stand up out of the bed, literally. And sometimes….it’s all just not that bad. And the not-so-bad is the maximum I’ve been able to reach in the past two years.
These are just a few of the direct, physically-mental consequences of the borrelia camping in your body. There is another respect, though, which isn’t so obvious to other people, and is therefore the cause of the incomprehension by people around you, by your friends, even by your own family.
You don’t drink alcohol because it makes you feel really bad and even after one shot/beer you start trembling like an alcoholic. You don’t join any parties, don’t feel like going out with your friends, don’t socialize, because you simply don’t have energy nor mood for that. Any physical job is suddenly a big challenge, but what’s worse, due to brain fogs and your brain working on 30-50% of the capacity, on your bad days, doing any psychical work is almost impossible and 8 hours spent in front of a computer just becomes unbearable. You have no energy to make any additional effort, it’s difficult to be creative, productive (try it yourself next time you have a bad hangover). You come home from work exhausted but if you fall asleep, you feel even worse, so you try to move to activate your lymph system and endorphins, and try to keep yourself busy not to think about how you feel. They say don’t sit at the computer, your brain and the whole nerve system must rest, but they don’t tell you what to do for a living and how to get money to pay all the consultations with the doctor, drugs, travels, herbal supplements, healthy food and your overall new lifestyle that costs you shitloads of money. You are doing your best to get better, keeping a diet which hardly anyone understands, eating healthy food and exercising, but you don’t see any progress even though your money keeps disappearing with the speed of light. So you go back to work again and try to earn money besides your regular job too. You go to sleep exhausted hoping that the next day will be better, in the morning you wake up feeling like the same shit again. You don’t do anything more than it’s necessary and for 4 of 5 days at work you just wish to survive and be back in your bed. Thus, one day, as they see you aren’t initiative, they just fire you from work. You’re back in the vicious circle.
And as an icing on the cake, the incomprehension by the people around you continues and you basically end up in all that alone. Your friends, including your own dad, just think you can’t feel so bad if you go to work everyday and do other stuff, go jogging, travel…..but what f*ck are you supposed to do? Lie in you bed, staring at walls and waiting for a miracle? For 2, 3, 5 years? Will they feed you and pay for all of that? You don’t have much support and you lose the last motivation to hang out with anyone. You start to hate your life and feel like not seeing anyone.
Now, you are turning 30, taking antibiotics, trembling, with your muscles on fire, watching your friends, schoolmates, other people getting married, getting babies, and you are sitting alone with your dad in a small flat in a boring town, going to your bed afraid of the next morning and wishing not to wake up ever again…After two years of the vain effort you no longer feel like trying to change anything in your life and trying to overcome it over and over again.
Thus, one day, you get to the point when you just quit on everything as you realize that there is hardly anything else left to lose. So you just book a flight ticket to Romania and go to look for some peace and quiet for your brain, for your soul. You just go and see what happens. But how can you travel if you feel bad? I don’t know…..But do I really still have something to lose….?