Choosing to Be Present in the Fire of Lyme Disease


Trigger Warning: Mention of unhealthy coping mechanisms related to food. 

By Brianna Deutsch

I used to love going on walks. They grounded me and helped me connect with God. Hearing the wind rush through the paper thin leaves and having my feet on solid footing, brought peace. But, I had to stop walking. I could no longer walk for more than 15 minutes a day. My legs went numb and I felt in a dissociated fog. My heart would often have shooting pangs and my head had sharp pains that left me in a heap of tears.

In December 2017, after a series of doctor visits and tests, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. This bacterial infection spread throughout my body and, if untreated, could severely harm the major organs of the body.

One year ago, I could walk.
One year ago, being out in public didn’t hurt my head to the point where I would start crying.
One year ago, my heart didn’t have random shooting pains.

In order to deal with the pain, I wanted to escape. I picked up some old, bad habits to numb out.

Numb out with attaching myself to emotionally unavailable men.
Numb out with aimlessly scrolling on social media.
I would numb out my reality with food.

There was a time during my healing process from Lyme where I would take cabs in the middle of the night to pick up food. Half-asleep and in a haze, I would go from store to store picking up food. Food pushed down the pain of a body breaking down, the pain of an unknown future and, most importantly, the pain of broken hope.

Sometimes it’s too easy to numb out when life is so damn hard. But the things we use to comfort us can end up destroying us. What I learned in the midst of the pain, is that what we desperately need to be, is present.

All around me, society yells at me to do more, strive for more, be more. But God reminds us: “Be still and know that I am God.”

The Hebrew of “still” is rapa, which means “to cease fighting.”

The word of God whispers to us admist our pain and tells us to cease struggling, stop warring against ourselves, against others, our situations and know who our God is. When we know, intrinsically know, God’s character in the sea of unknown outcomes, we can rest at ease. We can even become present with our pain.

When I know and trust God’s character, I can be:

Present amidst the fiery trials of life.
Present and trust that He is good.
Present and trust that He is faithful.
Present and trust that He is protective.
And, present and trust that when we walk, we will not stumble.

Today my health is still rocky. I still have difficulties walking and I can still feel like I am in a dream. But, I’m now choosing to be still. I’m choosing to be present in the fire. I am allowing myself to be refined and remolded into the woman I was created to be.


About Brianna:

I am a quirky, compassionate woman who lives in British Columbia, Canada. I like sunrises over sunsets, the feeling of crochet over silk and floor-length windows. I’m a freelance writer for a variety of online platforms and I’m a firm believer in drinking my coffee black and my smoothies, green. I have a passion for deep, thirst-quenching words, raw conversations and looking someone in the eye. You can find more of my work on