June 20, 2016

Bite Me

Ally Hilfiger talks Lyme Disease and her new book.

Upon first meeting Ally Hilfiger, you’d never know she’s “sick.” But the petite brunette has been—since childhood—though it took years for doctors to properly diagnose her with Lyme Disease. After struggling with varying and debilitating symptoms and unsuccessful treatments, Hilfiger has penned a book about her fight, with the hopes of helping and inspiring those who have suffered the same path.

“Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me” came out earlier this year to much fanfare, mainly thanks to Hilfiger’s bravery and honesty in the piece.

“I talk about so many difficult and dark times of my life in the book,” Hilfiger says. “I was writing the book when I was pregnant with my daughter and was willing to be vulnerable for a few reasons. The first is because there needs to be better awareness around Lyme Disease. The second is when you’re vulnerable it makes other people feel comfortable about being the same. I think that kind of self-honesty and openness is really important in our day and age because it opens up the door to healing.”

On top of discussing her struggle with Lyme Disease, Hilfiger also shares her wisdom on coping with it.

“I like to say that everybody should have a toolbox,” she told us over hibiscus tea. “Inside are different tools, both literally and figuratively, that you can use to help center yourself and cope with whatever you’re going through. Mine has the phone numbers of people who support me and take care of me mentally and physically; oils and other things I use for meditation (Niven Morgan’s Lavender Mint line is a favorite); music and movies that distract me or make me laugh; books that inspire me; and of course doing anything with my daughter.”

Hilfiger has come to a place in her life where her Lyme Disease is manageable, though that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have good and bad days.

“It’s so hard to explain to somebody who has never been chronically sick that you can look great and be put together, but be really struggling inside. Some days are totally normal for me, and other days I’m just a shell of a human. Or barely that.”

And while “Bite Me” is technically a book about Lyme Disease, it’s relatable to anybody who has had to fight for their life or to simply “feel normal.”

“It’s a book for anybody who is going through a hardship,” Hilfiger says. “I strove to be encouraging and hopeful—all while having a sense of humor. I can be very self-deprecating at times, so watch out.”

 

The Details: You can pick up Hilfiger’s book here