Yolanda talks about her journey to recovery and has some sage advice for her fellow Housewives.
Hello Bravo lovers,
First and foremost, thank you so much for all your love and support during my crazy health journey. Please know that it is a great source of strength and that it really means a lot to me. I also appreciate your kindness and compassion in understanding that I have not been able to blog.
I know the reunion is an important end to the season, so I felt the need to pull up my bootstraps and show up, no matter what. In my mind, keeping my commitment to Bravo and Evolution was very important, even though my body wasn’t ready to get dressed and all dolled up after living in my robe and pajamas for the past four months.
In hindsight, I wish I had stayed in bed, because I don’t feel like I added much to the conversation, even though I did give my best effort. I feel so raw and vulnerable as I make my way through the maze of this debilitating disease. Not having access to the “search button” in my brain makes me really insecure and is a huge loss for me when trying to participate in life.
My world has become very small. I have moved into an apartment with my husband and son in order to have a more manageable scope of responsibilities while I recover slowly and learn to take life one day at a time. Getting well is my full-time job these days. It took me a while to learn the true meaning of patience and surrender, but I have finally accepted that healing doesn’t happen on our schedule. It doesn’t have a clock or a calendar.
The diagnosis isn’t simple, either. A late stage chronic Lyme disease patient probably doesn't just have Lyme disease. Unfortunately, this situation is like peeling a onion with many layers of problems. I won't bore you with the details of my diseases collected throughout my life journey of 48 years until the day I got sick now almost three years ago. One funny story gives you a sense, though, of the long-term journey. At 12 years old, I raised a premature baby cow on our farm, because her mom had died. I bottle-fed it everyday, let it suck on my chin and babied it until it was stable. I just recently found out that my little love gave me Q fever that has been a low-grade infection throughout my entire life.
The path forward isn’t completely clear. As I turn each corner, new obstacles arise, but I am a determined warrior, and even though this has brought me to my knees, I know God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling. So even though my life may not be perfect for now, I try to find a blessing in every day. Watching my children grow and establishing themselves into the world is my greatest joy and drive to continue to fight until I find my cure. I had to miss Gigi and Bella walking Tom Ford's fashion show right here in town a couple of weeks ago. I’ve waited my whole life for that exciting moment, but while I couldn’t be there in person, at least today’s technology allowed me to live-stream the show from bed. I’ve cried my eyes out for missing so many precious moments as their careers take off, while I’ve been forced to to watch from the sidelines with great pride, inspiration and hope for a front row seat one day in the near future.
And, unfortunately, I am far from alone. Lyme disease is a major epidemic of the 21st century, and I am sure, unfortunately, that in the years to come, as people become more aware and educated about this disease, you will come across someone in your inner circle who is afflicted with this. In some ways, it’s like AIDS in the early 1980s. I am going to make it my mission in the coming years to help find proper diagnostics and a cure affordable for all. There is so little acknowledgement and understanding from the world at large for this and most chronic invisable diseases, for that matter. That’s why I like to say that you don’t really get IT until you get IT.
Throughout this journey, I have finally, after 51 years, met the true core of my being. I understand pain and suffering in a dimension I never knew existed. I am finding my own strength at its best, yet in the worst time of my life. I am getting to the most raw and vulnerable part of me and it has changed my perspective towards life and human beings for the rest of my life.
All of this brings me back to the reunion. It was nice to see all the girls, even though, for obvious reasons, I have been extremely disconnected and pretty much living on a different planet for now. My overall take on the season is that we must all try to be kinder than necessary, because those hardest to love need love the most.
Some people come into our life as a blessing, while others come into our life as a lesson, so love them for who they are instead of judging them for who they are not.
It's obvious that some of the women’s behavior is a true reflection of how they feel about themselves, and for that, I have great empathy and compassion. The issues at play here are real life struggles, so remaining open to things with which we don’t agree allows us to see that there is always a resolution to a situation if we are willing to make the effort.
Everyone matters, so I don’t feel the need to compete and keep pointing out other people’s imperfections in order to feel better about myself. Since today’s world has enough critics, I choose to be an encourager where possible (while also telling friends what they need to hear, and not just want they want to hear) and treat everyone as if they were what they should be and hopefully help them become what they are capable of becoming.
I think it's important for all of us participating in the Housewife journey to remember that just because someone has inflicted hurt upon us, it does not give us the right to do the same.
Anyway, thank you for supporting our show the way that you have. I hope you continue to tune in for the three-part reunion. I am sending you lots of love from my healing cave and hope to see you all next year.
Remember, character isn’t what you have, it’s who you are...