How I stopped chasing a “cure”–and healed from Lyme disease
by Amy B. Scher
At 28 years old, and after years of suffering from medical issues that no doctor across the U.S. could unravel, I was finally given a name to the condition that had taken almost my entire life away: late-stage Lyme disease.
I took my diagnosis like an over-sized bag of groceries at the checkout stand, wrapped my arms around as best I could, and set off to get a cure and get back to life.
But it didn’t work seamlessly. It didn’t work easily. It really didn’t work … at all.
I tried treatment after treatment trying to save my young life. With some treatments, I saw massive improvement, only later to rebound in ways that deflated me again.
But I continued searching with inner chaos, ruled by fear. I feared I was missing the “cure,” not choosing the right treatments, not looking in the right places.
I went on marathon internet searches, talked to everyone I could find with Lyme disease, and was in a constant state of panic that my broken body would never be put back together again.
Hoping to recreate the success of others
I pursued every single treatment I read about, hoping to recreate others’ success in my own life. I even ended up across the world in India for an experimental stem cell transplant, thinking if the elusive cure wasn’t in my country, it had to be in someone else’s.
I never experienced the full recovery I was after.
It was about a year after my epic treatment in India, when I relapsed, that I finally stopped the searching. I just stopped. I stopped pointing to symptoms and syndromes, and the perceived external causes of those.
I quickly came to an epiphany: What if running all over trying to find the cure is actually steering me away from what I really need? What if each person’s cure is a perfectly orchestrated succession of following their own intuition and no one else’s path at all?
These questions were not easy to look at, but they were necessary. I began to gently analyze all the ways in my life that I had always been driven by fear – that I wasn’t good enough and that I wasn’t doing enough.
Fulfilling old patterns
Trying to heal from Lyme disease was just another way I was fulfilling an old unhealthy pattern. With that, I began to see many patterns and emotions that no longer served me, including my inability to let go and flow with life.
The failed attempt to heal by jumping from doctor to doctor and from treatment to treatment helped me see the message that I needed most: If you want to heal, you’re going to have to go your own way.
This constant mantras in my head had only pushed me away from what I needed to heal. What’s happening over there? What is he doing more of? What am I missing? Why am I not as good as them?
Feeling my way
So instead of obsessing over who was doing what and when, I began to focus on feeling my way through my own journey instead. And what I felt was that I was done looking for an external cure to fix what was broken in me.
I discovered the importance of more than just medicine. I learned how we are all a perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit; and healing cannot come from attending only to physical symptoms. I created tools to work with my body’s energy system, and focused on releasing emotional baggage I’d been carrying my whole life.
And with that shift inward, I healed myself deep down to the core. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. I did what doctors could not and what treatments could not. I healed completely and permanently.
Who you really are
Almost a decade later, with Lyme in my distant past, I see everything so clearly. Wellbeing comes down to this simple rule: You must become who you really are. You must follow your own path. There are elusive cures everywhere; but your cure will always be unique. No one gives you the magic formula or the key to reveal it.
What we need to remind ourselves is that we are always right where we need to be.
Lyme disease patients now ask me the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer. Now that you know what you know, could you have healed without antibiotics? Without stem cells? What would you say to someone who is just starting?
No perfect answer
There is no perfect answer, but my best answer is this.
In the end, you can’t dissect your life and pick out what you could have lived without. The epically hard and beautifully brilliant moments I experienced in my search for a cure could not, for me, have unfolded in any way but exactly as they did. I didn’t need any of it, but I also needed all of it.
The growing and stretching and sometimes wailing into the dark black sky had to happen for me exactly as it did. It laid the sacred groundwork for the rebuilding of my soul. India was not the beginning and it was not the end. India was only the place that I collected more of the pieces.
My greatest advice to those still on the path: keep collecting your own pieces. Stop chasing the cure and trust, no matter how hard it is, that your very own is on its way.
Amy B. Scher is an energy therapist and the author of two books: “This is How I Save My Life,” and “How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can.” She lives in New York City and teaches at retreats and conferences nationwide. She can be contacted through her website.