*Article originally published on The Mighty.
Having chronic health issues can leave you feeling down about your body and, for many people, like your life is on “pause” while you fight your illness. Debbie Gibson is hoping “Dancing With the Stars” will help her get her her “joy back” after years of struggling with Lyme disease.
The singer told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday that after years of health issues due to Lyme disease, she hasn’t been “friends” with her body and she joined “Dancing With the Stars” to help her get back to the life she had before.
“It’s time to make friends with my body again and get the joy back and performing consistently because I’ve been kind of [been] home resting, and resting, and resting,” Gibson said. “Which is helpful but it’s time to get moving and it’s time to overcome this thing once and for all.”
She said the show has already given her daily accomplishments to be proud of, she hopes the show will help pull her out of feeling “stuck” and “sidelined” in her life due to her health issues.
“I’m ready to get unstuck and I think this is the way. It’s the way to do it,” she said.
In 2014, Gibson revealed she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease the previous year after people criticized her thin appearance. In a blog post on her website, she explained that she felt flu-like symptoms, cognitive challenges, pain and food sensitivities for months as she went from doctor to doctor trying to get a diagnosis. She finally discovered she had Lyme disease after a GI doctor ordered her a test.
“By this point, my cognitive thinking had been affected… my sense of direction, sleep, moods, stamina, muscles and joints. And, I had this sunken in look and dark circles under my eyes,” Gibson wrote. “All the times you saw me on Vine, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube laughing and singing, I used concealer to cover that up and pulled from my reserves to bring you my best.”
Later that year, Gibson revealed that she was feeling better after being treated by a Lyme-literate doctor and taking antibiotics.
“I’m taking things day by day,” she told People. “I get into trouble when I look too far ahead and worry about the future. I’m now grateful for each day. This whole experience has taught me a ton of life lessons.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays on ABC at 8/7c.