How To Stay Emotionally Safe When We Feel Overwhelmed With Lyme

The following conversation is very common during a first session with clients experiencing Lyme:

I just don’t know how I’m going to get my life back. I feel like I’m losing hope. I’m losing hope in the medical system, in my body, in my family and in my faith. I always gave so much to other people and now I’m feeling abandoned. The physical pain is unbearable and I’m so tired all the time. Did this happen to you? “Yes” I reply. “Yes It did and I understand”.

Most people come to my practice expressing a tremendous amount of fear about their future. Many have suffered tremendous loss both before they came sick and because of their illness. The impact of the physical infection may have wrecked their ability to manage emotions and their ability to navigate daily tasks has been diminished.

I know that they have sought my services because of a need for validation in their experience. They want to know that they have a real medical condition and that they aren’t just making it up. They want to know they can get better. I am living proof that your body can heal. I am also fully aware that not every body is the same. In between healing and being healed it is our goal to help you assist your body in the healing process through emotional wellbeing. You can make an impact on your healing by focusing on your mental health.

The exercise below is one of the first things I do with all my clients. Your emotional and physical safety are the most important thing. If there is ever a question about whether or not you feel safe, we have to address that first.

  • Exercise Regaining Emotional Safety

Complete this emotional safety plan and refer to it whenever you feel overwhelmed. Share this plan with your mental health provider or someone who cares about your wellbeing. Keep it with you as a reminder.

  1. What are the things that trigger you to be emotionally overwhelmed? These can be thoughts, images, moods, situations or activities.

  2. What are your internal resources? These are things you can do to take care of yourself that don’t involve another person. Ie watching tv, taking a bath, etc.

  3. List the people and social situations that are a good distraction  

  4. Who are the people you can ask for help?

  5. People that I can ask for help. These may be the same or different from the people that are a good distraction.

  6. List any professional agencies you can ask for help like your therapist, physician or a local mental health clinic.

  7. Google the address and phone of your local hospital and list it here.

  8. What are some things I can appreciate in my environment right now? Do you have favorite room or space in your home?

  9. List out the things in your life that are worth living for.

Remember there is always a way to stay safe. If you need support right now you can always call: The National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255. I have had many clients use this as a resource. The NSH is always available to chat.