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There was a time where I felt completely ashamed of my struggles and lost confidence in myself. I was tired of hiding a side of my life because of the worry for judgment. I am so happy in life right now and want people to feel inspired and stronger by hearing about my past. My hope after people read this article, it's for everyone to have an understanding that life always has a bump and everyone deals with their bump at different times in their own life, and mine happened to be in my childhood, which has helped shape me. At one time I felt alone with my struggles and always wanted someone to understand exactly how I felt. I hope this article will do that for someone. 

Me

I had a happy early childhood with loving parents, my younger brother and older sister who I am close in age. Living on a farm was amazing as most of my memories include animals. I loved to be active, to ride my horse and play soccer. I loved everything girly like princess costumes, but also played outside with my brother. There was so much to be thankful for. Looking back at what I would soon struggle with makes me sad. I was always used to struggling my whole life, since I had learning differences. In kindergarten I would get pulled out of class while feeling embarrassed and sad that I had to do work with a tutor. I struggled for years with school. I would never give up, but at times the frustration inside of me wouldn’t sit right. To add another struggle on top of that would take a toll. 

Forever Changed, But Not Broken  

 It was the morning of fourth grade that everything changed. I was not acting like myself in school and the teachers got worried and called my mom to pick me up. I have very little memory of this day, but knew there was more to come. I started to act very hyper uncontrollably, OCD, depressed, extreme heart rates, dizzy, neck pain, hallucinations, and much more. I was very little and confused on why this was happening to me, but very aware that something was not right. I would get these symptoms every month for a week. The feeling of exhaustion and sadness was real. It was never ending. I was losing hope.  

A Mom Like No Other

The guilt I had putting my family through this was always with me. It is still with me at some points. I will forever be thankful for my parents sticking by my side. My mom was my rock, she did everything in her power to figure out what was wrong with me. She did more for me than doctors did and never gave up on me, sacrificing years for me. I went to countless doctors visits with her, each one telling me something different, but was a learning lesson. She picked up on a lot of information. She knew when I got diagnosed for an auto aumune disease, something was not right. My mom knew that was not the disease I was struggling with. This went on for years.

Frustration 

The frustration was real at times when I lost hope. I watched my brother and my sister live a “normal” childhood and I always had challenges. I was the sibling who always had the most attention, but I did not want it. I have an everlasting memory in my head when I had a doctor’s appointment on my sister’s birthday, I looked into her eyes as she was looking the other way and saw the pain she was fighting with. I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling. I saw my brother staying strong for me. My struggles were not any less important than theirs. I do not think they knew how much I would think about them and the guilt I fought with inside. I did not like myself. I was causing so much pain for others and wished a miracle to happen. I was mad at the world sometimes. This was my normal, but I longed for the day that I did not have to wake up every morning worrying about what was next. The worst part was that there wasn’t anything I could do as a child struggling with a disease, besides staying strong.

Some Answers 

After going to many doctors I eventually got tested for Lyme disease from a special lab in California, and the test came back positive. There was a moment of relief, but also not naive to the fact that there would be a long journey ahead. Now there was the never ending doctor’s visits. I went to a very respected Lyme specialist who did a lot for me. My body was so confusing, it seemed as if nobody could solve what exactly happened and when. When did I get Lyme? Have I had it since I was a toddler? How can it be treated correctly?  This would take years to be treated and figured it out. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel for me.

To end on a cliffhanger it's hard, and I was always on a cliffhanger with Lyme. Next article this story will go on. Keep on the lookout for part two.  

Ava Margolis is from Central New Jersey, studying Multi-Media Journalism. She enjoys interacting with others and hopes to work in the communications field one day as a writer or broadcast. Margolis is an outgoing, compassionate, and adventurous person who loves sharing her passions with others.
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