“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich
Memoir is a funny thing for taking you walking into places you would rather not remember. I was thinking, last night, of a time when I had all but given up on myself.
I was so young then. Barely just begun at University. In a body that was falling apart. In a life that was falling apart. An over-achiever who was failing at everything. And in that terrible place of not being believed when I said that something was wrong.
For something was wrong. Very wrong.
For months I woke bathed in sweat and wrestled fevers through the day. My joints ached and swelled. My heart thumped in my chest and missed a beat or two whenever it felt like it.
The music I’d been been able to read since I was a small child became a spaghetti tangle on the page. I lost my ability to remember information or to place things into a logical sequence of events. Numbers became meaningless.
I forgot where I lived, and the names of people whom I’d known for years.
I fell down in the street, my legs giving way beneath me for no reason.
My legs jigged and danced in bed at night, no matter how I tried to keep them still.
And there was pain. So much pain. Ice-picks being buried in my head. Nerve pain roaring behind my left eye and rendering me sightless from that orb for days on end. Cramping pain. Dull pain. Electrical pain. Sharp pain. It moved all round my body, making a liar of me. No-one has pain like that. Except that I did.
Then there were the rashes that came and went. Exhaustion so overwhelming that it was all I could do some days to lift my head from the pillow. Infection after infection.
So much of my life became blurred. Slowly I was losing myself. That much I knew.
Our family doctor told me that I had women’s troubles, and prescribed valium.
A second doctor suggested anti-depressants, and theorised that I didn’t have the heart for serious study. Why not become a shop assistant or a secretary instead? Or surely I had a nice boyfriend I could marry? Motherhood was very satisfying, I was told, even though modern girls thought they knew better.
When I continued to question my diagnoses, and to ask for my doctors to be more investigative I was referred to a psychiatrist.
Who sent me to a neurologist, just to be thorough. Where I promptly spiked a fever and collapsed. So the neurologist sent me to his friend, Doctor Richard Kemp, the Head of Infectious Diseases at the same hospital.
Doctor Richard Kemp was a man who listened. He was a man who cared. He took the time to conduct all manner of investigation over several weeks. Finally he concluded that I was suffering from an infection. His tests could not isolate it, but he was sure. It was like AIDS without the HIV he told me.
Doctor Kemp also told me, regretfully, that he was unable to treat me because he had no definitive diagnosis.
After which he said something remarkable. I believe you, he said. You know your body better than anybody else, and you know that something is wrong. I know that too. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Hold to your guns. Don’t give up. One day you will be proven right.
In my darkest days I have held on to that the way a drowning man would cling to a lifeline. To have someone believe in you and encourage you is a powerful thing.
Life-changing, actually. Because after that I began to fight, and since then I have never turned my back on me.
Fast forward to 2013 where I received a definitive diagnosis that proved Dr Kemp correct. I have lyme disease. It is an insidious infection that has rampaged through thirty years of my existence, and that – prior to my diagnosis – had almost killed me as I sat in cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, with a brain full of lesions and almost every major system in my body broken.
A big part of the reason I have endured is the encouragement I received from that kind doctor. I am still here. Still here, and now finally, because of treatment I am getting better day by day.
Who can you reach out to and support? Who can you encourage?
A few words, honestly stated, may mean more than you can ever know to someone who could use a self-belief boost. Destinies can be changed. Futures can be created. Lives can be saved.
And for those of you who are struggling? Please, don’t give up on yourself. You just never know when that breakthrough or answer or guiding light will come.
Holding you in my meditations and prayers, Nicole <3 xx
15 thoughts on “What Happens When Someone Believes In You”
Nicole, I have just come across your blog and have spent some time reading through some of your posts.
I have recently been diagnosed with Lyme and feel that I resonate with so much you have written. I am a mum of two young children, a meditation and breathwork teacher for pregnancy and birth and a strong willed woman who is going to give everything to this fight.
Although I am scared and feel the anxiety creeping through me in relation to some of my symptoms, I will be well again!
All my love to you and thankyou for opening your mind and heart through the words you write
Good thoughts, Nicole, thanks for sharing
Beautiful Nicole x I often hear your words in my ear when I feel like giving up. You are one of the people that have made a huge difference in my life and why I am still here today. x
Thank you for never giving up and shining your beautiful light.
You are always a pleasure to read Nicole. Thank you very much for these words today <3
Sending love and hugs for the care you show to so many, Nicole <3 xox It's lovely to read that you were given the gift of those words "I believe you" by a doctor who knew the meaning of the word "humility".
As a nurse I always listen to the people I meet daily.I try to tell them it is OK to be scared,,sad. frighten and that I will do the best to take care of them. Sometimes we all need the light house shinning that beam to save us. You inspire me daily and I am glad you held on and love your blog. Thank you for being so strong.
Ohhhh Nicole, you’re words are like an injection of hope! You fill me with inspiration and the hope for better days. I in turn send you an abundance of love and energy for your continued improvement in health ❤️
I can’t imagine the pain you have been in and the frustration of not being believed that something was seriously wrong and being told to give up get married have children and all will be ok is a load of bullshit, sorry but it is…………….
And I am so glad and grateful you are still here. Your beautiful words mean so much to me. They have helped me feel not so alone in my enduring and this today, ahhhh, when my husband is hitting rock bottom but still resisting change. I needed this, thank you. Much love 💜🙏🏻
Oh big, big, hugs to you <3 so pleased you are coming out of that long, dark tunnel. And yes, someone being able to help another is a wonderful gift xxx
I always look forward to reading your blog. Everything you write is so honest and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing the most painful and traumatic parts of your life to help others. Much love and blessings to you xxxxx
tears flowing, heart aching…but I can do it, and I will go on…whatever that will look like will be a mystery…Thank YOU as always for your support & care…XOXO
Darling Satisha, you are more resilient than you know. Look how much you have experienced and how much good you shine out into the world. You will get past this and back to blue skies again. Stay strong. I love you ❤️ xx
You are my example of never giving up…