Good-Bye, Costa Rica

It’s funny all of the interesting twists and turns that Lyme disease brings into a person’s life. After all, it brought me to Costa Rica. Yes, I came here in November, 2007, to write my first book on Lyme disease, but the financial devastation that Lyme had caused in my life up until then, along with my need to go deeper in order to find healing, is what has kept me here until now.

Indeed, in the twenty months that I have been here (well, really a year and a half, if I don’t count the trips that I have taken back to the States in between), I have been healed of many things, probably in part due to living in a slower, more peaceful, and perhaps less toxic environment, and I am moving back to my “home” in Denver in just three days, stronger and healthier than when I left.

As I prepare myself for the reality of moving back to what will now be somewhat of a foreign country to me, I realize that as much as I wanted to avoid reverse culture shock and keep one foot back home, (because living here was never meant to be a permanent thing for me), I have yet immersed myself enough in life here to realize that returning to the States will yet be an adjustment.

I guess I’ve been here long enough to comprehend that I’m no longer leaving a foreign country; I am leaving behind a life, complete with friends and a lifestyle that I love and am now used to.

I don’t know whether to scream because Lyme did this to me, or to rejoice because Lyme gave me the opportunity to experience life in another country.

Or maybe Lyme did nothing and my god’s purposes were to take me out of the States for awhile anyway, for other reasons. But I did have a home in Denver and Lyme took that away from me and I knew that as long as I had symptoms and was unable to work, it would be easier for me to get by on my own in a cheaper country. And so I left the United States, and at the time, it seemed as simple as any other lifestyle choice that Lyme had obliged me to make.

Leaving Costa Rica and moving back to Denver will be bittersweet. I feel certain that this coming week will be marked by moments of sadness and tears as I say good-bye to loved ones here, but also by smiles and joy, at the prospect of going home to see my loved ones there.

They say that moving back to your own country after having lived overseas is more difficult than moving to a foreign country, because, when you move to a foreign country, you expect life to be different, but when you return back home, you expect things to be the same as before and they are not. But it’s because you have changed.

It will be interesting to compare life in the United States to that of Costa Rica, once I am back “home”. When it comes to healing, however, I don’t know whether the environment in Costa Rica, or the United States, is more beneficial for those with chronic illness.

The pace of life in Costa Rica is slower than in the United States, which is conducive to healing. Life is also less complicated here in some ways, and that includes the people. Dare I say that we in the States are too analytical, and it is to our detriment?

Also, Costa Rica probably has fewer environmental contaminants than the United States, especially EMF’s. Organic food is scarce, however, and access to supplements and Lyme treatments, even scarcer.

It’s also noisy as heck in this place, and there are fewer creature comforts than in the States. Box spring mattresses, dish washers and dryers for example, aren’t really the norm in the average Costa Rican household.

But the cost of living is lower here than in the States, which can take another immense burden off of those who are trying to recover their health.

So in some ways, life in Costa Rica can be beneficial to those with Lyme, but in other ways, it can be more stressful, and especially if you don’t speak Spanish and aren’t accustomed to Latin culture.

In any case, it’s time for me to go back, and I must do it now, before I get too comfortable with life here. Because no matter how much I appreciate Costa Rica, I sense that greater purpose awaits me back “home” in Denver. In any case, I am determined not to let any Lyme bugs stop me anymore from fulfilling my god’s purposes for me, whether these be in the United States, or any other country.