I guess you could say this is the book that saved my life because I read it when I was at a very low point in my life. It was very eye-opening for me in many ways because I finally read about someone else who also went through the same thing as me. I felt like I was not alone anymore. After I finished reading Bite Me I wanted my mom and dad to read it immediately because I felt that if they read this holy grail that they would understand me and this horrible disease a bit more. I don’t want to give too much away, and I am not here to review the book. To be honest I would need to re-read the book if I was going to give a thorough review. Blame it on the Lyme brain haha! I simply want to tell you how this book hit me upside the head with a giant reality check stick.
When I got to work I fired up my kindle and pressed play on the audio book, because let’s be honest, even if I wanted to read the text it would not sink in. I would have to re-read each page several times for it to sink in, or I would get distracted. After listening to the first couple of pages I fought back the tears because what Aly’s dad wrote really hit me hard. I started having flashbacks of times that I felt like I was not in control over my own emotions or actions. You see, that is just it, it was almost like I was a vampire on Vampire Diaries and I turned my humanity switch off. I didn’t like to be bothered and I often isolated myself. I remember getting so irritated when someone would say good morning to me. That is NOT normal and it was not me. After I realized how I had acted I felt like the worst human being.
“In her late teens, she experienced a psychotic episode that lasted for several days. Leading up to it, I knew she was not herself. What I did not realize was that she had a disease that was spreading and that it had multiplied and crossed the blood-brain barrier, which caused a reaction in her that was similar to the way syphilis can cause psychosis.” – Tommy Hilfiger
Like Aly, I kept a ton of journals and diaries when I was seeing my psychologist. This was not for memory(which it should have been) like it was for Aly. It was because my psychologist told me it would help with the way I was feeling which was a lot of anxiety and moodiness at the time. The journal was to be sort of like an outlet if you will. When I read what I had written I was shocked. The pages in my journal were filled with rage, negativity, anger, and emptiness. The weird part is that I did not remember writing these horrible things down. It was as if I was programmed by the little bastards and they were controlling my brain. Who was this monster? This was definitely not me. I used to be so positive, loving, optimistic and bubbly. Why was my brain brewing such hatred images? This truly scared me and I was a bit shaken up.
“What I really meant was that I have absolutely no physical, emotional, or mental capacity right now, and I do not know how to be a girlfriend or even a human. Don’t let me traumatize you any further, and don’t try to touch me or kiss me because I can’t feel it. ” – Aly Hilfiger
After I finished reading this book I finally accepted that the monster living inside my brain was what was/is controlling me. This monster is NOT who I am, though, and it does not define me or who I am as a person. The day I finished this book I decided that it was time to take over my life again and fix what I have broken. I hurt a lot of people and I shut myself off from the world but I also hurt myself because when I looked back at what I had destroyed, I felt guilty and it sat on my shoulders like a heavy brick. I know that I still do not have full control over my brain but at least now, after reading this book, I can take a step back and say “Is this me or the disease talking?”. If you have Lyme, I urge you to read this book because I feel like it will give you a glimmer of hope again like it did for me. It will make you accept the fact that you are not this disease. After all, sometimes it takes a swift kick in the ass to realize what the big picture is.
This post is dedicated to my love, Giovanny. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I was at my worst. You are my knight in shining armor and I am so thankful for you.