I’ve decided to officially delete August 2018-2019.

I’ve decided to officially delete August 2018-2019.

I am blown away by the love and attention my first post got! Very thankful for all of the reads, shares, and comments. It’s already helped me connect with so many friends, new and old, and that’s what life is all about 🙂

I’ve jokingly said, “I’m just going to erase August 2018-2019, that’s when it all started to go downhill.” And by it, I mean everything. I’m only being a little overdramatic. 

*insert cliché paragraph here about how life is never what we expect it to be, challenges $hAp€ us, true character is revealed in hard times, etc, etc, etc*

All of the above may be true. That doesn’t mean it can’t be very very unpleasant and suck a lot. In fact, I’m here to show you that it can! 

Let’s review a ~brief~ timeline of my August to August year. 

  • The end of a relationship 

Sometimes things end before they really even get a chance to begin. It’s exceptionally bittersweet: you don’t fully know each other, the excitement hasn’t worn off completely yet, life feels exciting and new. I quickly found myself trapped in the game of “what ifs”, angry at life’s timing, and confused about why these 3 months even happened. 

But whatever!! I’m good at making peace in my mind, often to my detriment so I don’t ever fully process anything, just resolve it to a point where it is not causing me any psychological discomfort. I hopped on the express train to “No More Psychological Discomfort” as I do best and just kept moving forward. 

  • A health crash, but in i⊤@𝓁y

The express train took my sister and I on an unbelievable trip to Italy to visit my best friend studying abroad in Florence. What’s a better way to escape whatever you don’t want to deal with than leaving the country? We linked up with my friend’s family who was visiting at the same time and made the most of our week there, wine tasting in Tuscany, a private cooking class in an old villa for an Italian Thanksgiving, a trip to Cinque Terre, sooo much good food. I was extra tired this whole time but attributed it to a crazy semester and the stresses of missing class and work to travel. Ask anyone, I’m extra tired all the time. I can sleep on command. If being tired could be a profession, I’d have done it by now. Our last day in Rome I couldn’t leave the hotel. I felt like my body was glued to the bed. My body was so heavy, my mind was slow, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I honestly don’t know how I made it back to Los Angeles, probably because my sister is a bad ass and makes shit happen. Thanks Anne. 

Once I got home, I remember calling my mom. Something was wrong. I’d called a few times previously and expressed that I was just not feeling like myself so she was aware that I was struggling. My superhero of a mom was in LA a few days later. I don’t remember the next few weeks. 

  • The months I fondly refer to as “Hell’s Front Porch”

My mom could tell this was serious, she extended her short trip to a week, then two weeks, then a month, she temporarily relocated to LA. In the meantime, we’d adopted a dog. We didn’t know that when we got her she was on doggy trazadone… Turns out she has extreme separation anxiety. Not able to leave her at home with my dad, my mom loaded up her car and the dog for the trek to LA. Her last night on the road at our family friend’s house in Phoenix, our lovely dog Liney found some Advil and Tylenol. She promptly consumed it. This is poisonous to dogs. I like to think Liney was having extreme sympathy for me and just wanted to make sure I knew she understood what I was going through. A few overnights in the animal hospital, IVs in her little leg, medicine and monitoring, and a few thousand dollars later, my mom and Liney made it to LA for my rescue. 

With my wonderful friend Carly in Cinque Terre, Italy (pre-Roman death)

Thus began the many month long journey to diagnosis. Days in the UCLA Emergency Room for attempted symptom management, a jerk neurologist telling my dad I was faking it to get out of finals, well meaning doctors truly at a loss of how to help me, escalating and uncontrollable symptoms. There’s a lot to unpack here, at least 5 large suitcases, so we’ll table the rest of this conversation for another time. 

Wasn’t really sure how things could get worse. A word of advise, do not ask the universe that. You never know what’s coming next. 

  • The death of a friend, mentor, and professor 

There is nothing lighthearted about this, there is no room for sarcasm, there is no silver lining. A friend and a father figure to all, David Sánchez passed too soon. There is simply too much to say, and words will never be able to encapsulate and honor all that this man was for his family, for LMU, for theological education across the country and world, for me. 

  • “Anything but Lyme Disease, please”

Losing David truly broke me. I’m clearly not one to play the victim card, especially considering the gravity and tragedy of what’s at hand, but my sickness did not allow me to process or understand any of this. My mind and my body have not been my own. But I’d soon learn why. 

Throughout the “Hell’s Front Porch” time span, I always knew that Lyme Disease could be a possibility. But I didn’t really want to think about that because I knew a little bit about the controversy surrounding Lyme (remember, express train to “No More Psychological Discomfort”). Words to not use when describing Lyme: ‘understood’, ‘straightforward’, ‘neutral’. Words to use when describing me: ‘understood’, ‘straightforward’, ‘neutral’. As you can see, I felt like having Lyme would really just harsh my vibe. It doesn’t have an understood diagnosis processes, there is no straightforward treatment, existing as a person with Lyme makes you inherently controversial and not neutral. I’m a 9 on the enneagram (yeah yeah whatever) so I’m naturally a peacekeeper, and the internet just told me my basic desire is “to have inner stability “peace of mind”’… as if we couldn’t perceive that from reading this post. 

To all of that, Lyme said “fuck you”. Sorry I said fuck.  

The relief I felt with a diagnosis is unparalleled. I’m not crazy, I’m not making this up, what I’m struggling with is real, it is fixable. All of that to say, I don’t think there is a disease with intricacies that naturally challenge me more than Lyme does. (This is not me asking!! I do not want to know!! I do not want to find out!! I am happy here thank you!!)

  • Because that’s not enough 

If you recall, I said this was going to be a ~brief~ timeline. At this point you’re probably thinking, “Really? That’s honestly not that bad, why does she need to delete a full year of her life just because all of that happened and she had some struggles?” First of all, shut up. Secondly, BECAUSE I PRIDE MYSELF ON A PEACEFUL AND NON CONFRONTATIONAL LIFE AND THIS WAS NOT THAT!! But also because, you guessed it, that’s not all, folks!! 

Looking good feeling terrible in the DR

In the interest of not making this 7 pages of really really sad and depressing things, I’ve decided it best to aggressively rapid fire everything else into one, long run on sentence to get it over with. Take a deep breath, on your mark… get set… GO!! 

I had to surrender my position as a leader for LMU Campus Ministry’s Ignacio Companion trip to Guatemala, my friend got diagnosed and struggles with narcolepsy, I had to cancel my graduation vacation of camping and exploring Alberta, CA (yes, with the one with narcolepsy, I know we’re really quite the pair), another friend got diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian System (‘oh she’s just saying that, her two best friends can’t also have chronic illness diagnosed in the same year’ oh yes. yes we can), I had to medically defer from starting my Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, I was not physically able to attend church or continue to be a Young Life leader, I had to quit the best job I’ve ever had, I spent the majority of a trip to the Domincan Republic with my lifelong friends stuck in bed, okay this is getting really sad I’m gonna stop now. 

That’s not all, but its more than enough. My goal in sharing ALL of this is not to have you pity me or feel sorry for me, honestly. 

It’s simply to say, “Let’s delete August 2018-2019” and hop back on the express train to “No More Psychological Discomfort.” 

So now when you ask me about anything that happened recently and I say, “Oh, I’m not really sure! It was okay!” you know the truth. This way we’re all on the same page. Deep down we both know that I know exactly what you’re asking about and it was, in fact, not okay. But we’ve reached an understanding to table that conversation until I’m able to appropriately process, understand, and think about my year. 

But until then, August 2018-2019 is officially deleted!! 

I’m really excited for when I can un-delete this time of my life and allow its full influence to change, shape, inspire, power, and move me forward. But I’m not there yet. My mind is fighting really hard to get its territory back from Lyme’s grasp and it’s winning, slowly but surely – I know that because I just wrote all of this!! If you’d have asked me to do this a month ago I would have had a much larger ‘bedframe breakdown’. First up on my brain’s to do list as soon as it’s capable: healthy emotional, psychological, and spiritual processing.  

In the meantime, I’ll continue to post a mess of thoughts, delete periods of time just because I can, and work up the courage to jump off my express train. 

Until Next Whine, 

Christina 


P.S. I fixed all of my social media links so now you can find me in other internet corners! 

I’ve also created a “subscribe” option so you can get email notifications each time I post something new, just enter your email on the side bar to the right (scroll down on mobile).

If you would like to learn more about David Sánchez, honor his memory, or donate to his Memorial Fund at Loyola Marymount, please visit this website:

https://bellarmine.lmu.edu/theologicalstudies/faculty/drdavidasanchez/

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Your grace in truth is what people need to hear. So honored to know you and watch you conquer this battle!

  2. So yes it looks like it’s been an awful year but hopefully everything will just get better.

    So good to delete it until you’ll get the strength to look back and gather something positive from all this experience.

    A good captain is not made from calm seas.

    🙂

  3. Oh hey, I’ve also been to Firenze! It’s wonderful. I’m also italian, though I’ve never lived in Italy and don’t speak much italian.
    So you probably got bitten by tbe deer tick in Tuscany?
    Are your friends getting better?
    Sorry to hear about your professor.
    In many ways you are lucky, you have a caring mother and sister, access to good treatment.
    This is all very personal of course, but I just accept we have very little control over our lives and most of it is senseless. I try to take things as stoically as possible. In the true, ancient philosophical greek meaning of Stoic.
    Also, accepting such things gives me incredible tranquility.
    Though most of my life I’ve been exactly lime you, preferring straightforward, understood and neutral and favoring a peaceful, non-confrontational life.

    1. I actually didn’t get bitten in Italy, I was bitten many times as a young kid and have been sick for a long time. It was just lurking under the surface and I was unaware that I was unwell. Oftentimes, it only takes one little thing to tip your immune system and then a disease or infection begins to run rampant. The cold I got in Italy essentially did this; my body couldn’t handle keeping the Lyme infection at bay and a cold so my body just crashed.

      1. Got it!
        So it had never manifested symptoms before?
        When this is over, whenever you have a tough situation in life, you will remember you have beaten lyme, so you can beat pretty much everything else.

  4. Christina, thank you so much for sharing what is your life right now. You are so well spoken (and entertaining 🙂 and it helps us to begin to understand what you and all your family has been going through. You may not always feel brave but you are truly an inspiration to anyone with a chronic illness. So much love to you and your whole family!

  5. No platitudes or inspiring thoughts, just want you to know that I think this THING you are going through SUCKS. That being said, you have lots of folks pulling for you and on standby to help pull you through any way possible. Keep slugging through and we’ll keep encouraging. And thanks for doing this blog and sharing the nitty gritty, so we can all understand a bit of what you are going through and know how to pray better! Love ya. And believe in your grit and determination!

  6. It feels a bit weird to comment given that we are strangers to each other, but it also felt right to give something in return. In my last few years I started to learn that life is way more messy than I thought and also annoyingly unreasonable, which is both unsettling and soothing.

    I’m confident that you will make it. Not because the universe is fair, but because you seem quite bright and capable, and you have people ready to help. And in the unlikely event that I might be able to offer something, just let me know.

  7. I like your blog, thanks for doing this. I hope you are getting better. My dad was the dean of business at LMU. I’m glad your parents are so supportive of you and you sister. I will keep you and you family in my prayers. Here’s for a good year to come!

    1. GO LIONS!! I love an LMU connection, I’m a very proud almum 🙂
      Thank you so much for reading and for the supportive words. Hope you’ll continue to follow along!

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