Finding My “Passion” – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers
Me in my Favorite Lyme’s Awareness Shirt
I was having a conversation the other night with a close friend of mine. When I mentioned that my un-18th wedding anniversary was coming up next week, she wondered why I even bothered counting since I am in the midst of getting a divorce. I explained that it had to do with lack of closure and living in limbo for several years.
We then discussed finding something in my life that I felt a certain “passion” for, so that it would involve me enough to distract me from dwelling on the past. I gave this idea some good, hard pondering. I believe I found my “passion,” albeit possibly temporary. I ran this whole philosophy by my therapist. She said for the time being, it sounded like something perfect to be passionate about on many levels.
My “passion” is my Lyme’s Disease. But not in a pessimistic, whine-all-day, kind of way. I have become very involved and very active not only with several Lyme’s Disease support groups, I have made personal friends with a couple other women who also have Lyme’s and are also “passionate” about helping others, sharing stories and remedies that work, encouraging those who are medically far worse than we, and trying to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of people we hardly know.
My therapist said that this “passion” seemed to fulfill many areas of my life that had personal growth potential. She knows how caring I am and that I enjoy helping others. She also pointed out that I am a terrific advocate and that she could see me stretching myself to assist others. Through my journey with Lyme’s, I have been able to share immense amounts of good, useful information with the support groups and receive valuable information in return. Then my therapist mentioned that the research alone has always been a “passion” of mine. Very true. When I’m on a “mission,” I research the heck out of whatever I need to understand more of. I am also on a quest for feeling validated with what I am going through. My non-Lyme’s friends are also sick and beyond tired of hearing me complain. With my Lyme’s friends or support groups, I can announce that I want to scream, cry, throw out all my medicines and gripe about getting IV antibiotics. They all understand. They have either been in my place or worse. My heart goes out to those who are medically worse. But I at least have a “safe place” to vent and still feel understood. Because I have so many unusual medical conditions, I need a place to go and feel welcome, regardless of what is ailing me on a particular day. This meets my “passionate” need to feel understood and cared about.
I also have a “passion” to make new friends and forge new bonds with them through a common interest. Within this past month, I have made two very special, understanding Lyme’s friends. We text or message every day. We have spoken over the phone. My therapist said that is the epitome of taking up new interests or fulfilling “passions.” Bonding with others. She agrees that my new Lyme’s friends are helping me reach out to others. They each may live 1,000 miles away, but I feel as if they live across the street. When one friend, also a single Mom with a son close in age to mine, texted that it was Chinese take-out night because she could hardly get off the couch, I texted back, “I have you beat…it’s frozen waffle night in this house tonight!” We sent messages of laughter and absurdity back and forth. But we both need to laugh. We both have to lift each other’s hearts a bit. Isn’t that what “passion” is supposed to do? Elevate you from where you are currently complacent?
I’m sure my close friend had much different ideas in mind when she suggested I explore my “passion.” Right now, this IS my “passion,” odd as it may seem. It also fulfills my interests and inherent characteristics. Best of all, it makes me feel good inside and out. This is highly important when you physically don’t feel good inside and out.
The best part about being “passionate” about Lyme’s support groups and having friends with Lyme’s? When I text them that I have to continue our conversation later because I am in desperate need of a nap…their response is typically, “Oh, me too! I’m so glad you said that!” At this point in my life, that’s my kind of “passion!”
May is Lyme’s Awareness Month. The support ribbon is lime green. If you see someone wearing one, ask if they know me!