A Physical Illness Made Me Realize How Much I Want to Live

October 13, 2022 Elizabeth Caudy

A few days ago, my schizoaffective anxiety almost convinced me that I was dying--again. Here’s what happened.

Dealing with Physical Illness When You Have Schizoaffective Disorder

About a week ago, I woke up and noticed I couldn’t flex my left foot. I had psychotherapy that day, and my therapist suggested I call my general practitioner. I did, but he was out of town, so the nurse referred me to someone else. The next day, my husband, Tom, came home from work early and took me to a walk-in clinic. I had x-rays done and got prescriptions for blood work and an MRI.

There was a snag in getting my blood work done, which really stressed me out and probably contributed to my thoughts about dying. One of the tests was a precautionary one for Lyme disease, and before I received the results, my schizoaffective brain fixated on the idea that I might have Lyme disease, even though I hadn’t been bitten by a tick or hiking in the woods, where I could be exposed to ticks.

I Want to Live, But Anxiety Can Make Me Think I'm Dying

I started to think, “What if I die of Lyme disease?”

I don’t want to die. I want to live and be with Tom. I want to live and be with my whole family.

I was terrified. I was even scared to go on the Internet and do research about the illness. But, finally, I did. And I found out that most cases of Lyme disease can be easily treated with antibiotics.1 Maybe next time, I should do my research before I let my anxiety disorder freak me out and convince me I’m dying.

But I learned something throughout all this. I learned how much I want to live. I really don’t want to die. I’ve already got a handle on my suicidal thoughts, but it’s an extra booster to realize that I want to live. I’ve realized that I have so much to live for.

As of this writing, I’ve gotten the test results back--no Lyme disease. But I still haven’t had the MRI. So, as ridiculously relieved as I am not to have Lyme disease, I still don’t know what’s wrong with my foot. I do know that I’m a bit flabbergasted by this foot problem. I already have arthritis in my knees, and now this? It doesn’t seem fair. But life isn’t fair, right? My schizoaffective disorder makes me really stress out about this stuff, too. As Tom always says, we’ll see what happens. And we’ll move forward no matter what.

If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources, and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.


  1. Lyme disease - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic. (2020, October 24). Retrieved October 10, 2022, from

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2022, October 13). A Physical Illness Made Me Realize How Much I Want to Live, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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