I have learned that strength cannot be sustained without rest and self-advocacy.
I am a strong woman because of my resilience, self-love, and courage.
Courage means learning to say “no” as a woman and recovering people pleaser who used to almost always say “yes.”
I am learning to value consistency over short sprints. In my teens and early twenties, because of Lyme disease, there were weeks when walking was hard, so I crawled. And there was a lot of laying on the floor. I needed that grace to stay there a moment after I fell down. Strong women can rest. I have learned that strength cannot be sustained without rest and self-advocacy.
I used to define my worth with how much I could give to the world. That wasn’t sustainable. Letting go of the labels I used to define myself with gave me the opportunity to look in the mirror and slowly learn to love myself, as is.
When I started to heal, I wrote a play to advocate for Lyme disease patients. It was a community effort, as I interviewed countless patients and their loved ones, doctors, and advocates. Connecting with and becoming an advocate for my community has changed my life.
Now I am learning to rebuild a life of freedom and possibilities, and that is brave. And I have a community of people to love, and who love me, and that’s enough.