Since being featured on the Healing Out Loud podcast in October, all kinds of Lyme folks have been contacting me wanting to hear more about what I’ve done to heal.

They have asked about the treatments, the doctors, the self-care routines, and while I have been happy to answer their questions, it’s hard doing so knowing that that information probably isn’t what they REALLY need to heal. This was making me uncomfortable but I didn’t know what do about it.

Then a mentor of mine helped me frame it in the clearest way. She said, “Noelle, it’s not what you did, it’s what you stopped doing.” Cue animation of my head exploding. She couldn’t be more correct.

In my case, when I met her four years ago, I was doing two big things that were keeping me from healing: I was pushing myself way too hard and I was unwilling to ask for support from the people in my life.

I would push myself to work, to do things for others, to go to the store, to try to make relationships work, all the while ignoring pleas from my body to act otherwise. I pushed because I was scared of what would happen if I stopped.

On a day-to-day basis, because my energy was unpredictable, when I felt I had some physical energy or mental clarity, I would want to make the most of it, doing as much as possible because I didn’t know when it would be unavailable and for how long.

In a more big picture sense, I’ve always had workaholic tendencies. I used to think that I couldn’t be successful unless I worked as hard as I possibly could. That, along with some guilt about class and race privilege, steered me away from myself – what I wanted and needed and what was true for me. I had let myself and who I really was fade into the background.

Getting the support of a coach helped me clearly just how much this pushing was hurting me. It also helped me muster the courage to slow-the-F-down. I didn’t know what would happen, or if it slowing down would even help my healing, but my coach helped me see that I was willing to give it a shot. The status quo sure wasn’t working.

Slowing down in the way I needed to necessitated asking for support. As much as I resisted asking for help, because I was ashamed of needing it, I wasn’t going to be able to heal all by myself, and deep down I didn’t want to.

Once I got over myself a little, I took some baby steps. I got rides places, borrowed cars to see out of town doctors, and asked friends if they’d be down for low key hangs. Later on, when I got more comfortable with the whole thing, I even asked for financial support from family and friends to see doctors and start my business. It wasn’t easy, but it turns out a lot of people wanted to help.

I’m sure I needed the herbs, the Ondamed, the neuroplasticity training, and the countless Epsom salt baths. And I’m sure they were helpful, but I’m CERTAIN I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t stopped pushing.