If you haven’t already heard the news (where were you?), Justin Bieber recently announced that he’s not on meth and has actually been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Allow me to kick off this essay by saying that I’m so sorry he’s dealing with this sh*t, I’m glad he’s overcoming the struggle, and F*CK YEAH to Biebs for always openly discussing his health, whether it’s this new diagnosis or about his mental health. It takes guts to use your mega-following that reaches BILLIONS of people to discuss sensitive topics like your personal life, especially when publicly discussing our health is so stigmatized. A true hero.
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While a lot of people kept saying justin Bieber looks like shit, on meth etc. they failed to realize I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health. These things will be explained further in a docu series I'm putting on YouTube shortly.. you can learn all that I've been battling and OVERCOMING!! It's been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever NO CAP
NOW *clears throat* allow me to explain why I’m frustrated AF over this situation.
It’s great that Justin Bieber is openly talking about his health/Lyme diagnosis but it’s fucked up that it takes a celebrity to get diagnosed with something MILLIONS of people (myself included) have been battling for so long to start a bigger conversation about it send tweet
— Morgan Mandriota (@morganmandriota) January 10, 2020
For those who
live in a bubble don’t know, Lyme disease is essentially an inflammatory disease/infection that’s transmitted from deer ticks to humans. When someone gets bit by a Lyme-carrying tick, they can experience a bunch of unpleasant, debilitating symptoms affecting the nervous system, joints, and other body organs. In 2020, and in every new year, there will be over 400,000 additional diagnosed cases of Lyme in the United States alone. Justin Bieber is one of the newer cases. Avril Lavigne is a well-known celeb with it, too. Ugh, why do ticks have to go and make things so complicated? Anyway. Wanna know who else has Lyme disease? Me. I have Lyme disease.
Let’s rewind back to fall 2017, when I spent a lovely afternoon adventuring along a local nature trail with my friend and her dog. I didn’t know a teeny tiny nymph tick bit my leg on that trail, but it did, and I didn’t find it when I did my post-hike body scan. One month later, my health drastically declined. I couldn’t breathe when I got up to go to the bathroom. I was absolutely exhausted… like, literally stuck to my couch with zero energy. I wasn’t hungry (a CLEAR sign that I was unwell). A coworker told me to go get a blood test on my lunch break, so I did, and lo and behold, I got a call from my doc on my way into work a few days later saying that I tested positive for Lyme disease. Cue ugly crying to my boss when I walked into the office and told her I had to go pick up meds because I was basically dying.
Two years ago today I took a hike on a beautiful sunny day that would change my life forever — I was bit by a tick & diagnosed with Lyme disease one debilitating month later. PLEASE be careful & thoroughly scan your body for ticks after time spent hiking/in grassy, wooded areas. pic.twitter.com/YOWAbKiBJK
— Morgan Mandriota (@morganmandriota) September 10, 2019
Two weeks of super strong antibiotics, accompanied by the dying off process of the spiral-shaped bacteria called spirochetes (that makes you feel like you’re literally dying), didn’t even do the trick. It’s 2020, and I still have lingering effects from that damn tick bite, including fatigue (yes, I get enough sleep), shortness of breath when I exercise (no, I’m not just out of shape), and numbness in my hands and feet when I drink (yes, I drink anyway and tell strangers at bars to punch my leg just to prove I can’t feel it). A month is a long time to go undiagnosed, but I was lucky enough to catch it that early—yes, EARLY. Some people go months or YEARS without a proper diagnosis, and as a result, they undergo severe neurological damage and experience far worse symptoms, like joint damage, organ failure, and even paralysis.
OK, so why TF am I so mad? For a few reasons.
First off, if you read the comments on Justin Bieber’s OG post, there are a ton of people giving him love and support, which is amazing. But there are way more people (on Twitter) blowing up this situation into a feud about Justin’s health vs. Selena Gomez and her battle with Lupus. Relevant? I think not. Yes, Lupus is another major chronic illness, but why the f*ck does this have to be a battle about who’s got it worse or which one is more severe? Why can’t people just send their ~thoughts and prayers~ and leave it at that? How about people actually care that Justin has been sick with this brutal condition and wish him well instead of turning this into a fandom battle?
Second, when Hailey showed her support, people attacked her, too—calling her a model who should shut up because she doesn’t know any better. Like??? Pretty sure she’s supporting her husband who’s sick, and if you actually read her tweet, her message is really important. Instead of downplaying the severity of ANYBODY’S health, let’s learn about WTF this disease is so we can help the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from it every damn day. The really sad part is that when it comes to learning/helping/supporting those with Lyme disease, we as a society are basically at step 0. That’s because there are a lot of people who deny that chronic Lyme disease is even a thing. So we have a long af way to go.
For those who are trying to downplay the severity of Lyme disease. Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself.
— Hailey Bieber (@haileybieber) January 8, 2020
For the record, chronic Lyme is VERY real. In simple terms, it’s the persistence of a Lyme infection that doesn’t go away and consistently wreaks havoc on the body by presenting those terrible symptoms long after the OG course of antibiotics have been taken. For the non-Beliebers (had to, sorry), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the CDC both published a whole post about it (because it’s REAL). But, ICYMI, journalists have gone as far as to deny IN THE NEW YORK TIMES that chronic Lyme exists. And, when that journalist received backlash, she posts this equally as reckless tweet: “To everyone sending me ‘information’ and personal stories on chronic Lyme: you assume I have not done any reporting or that I will somehow read your story and be convinced. I feel for you, but I do NOT believe—not does any expert I trust—that chronic Lyme exists.” See my thoughts on that in my tweet below.
As someone with Lyme who has battled to function normally for the last two years, I'd say you should only experience what I have but I wouldn't even wish that on my worst enemy. So thanks for your extremely ignorant and incorrect opinion, but no fucking thanks. Next. https://t.co/FmFJ6tlJ7M
— Morgan Mandriota (@morganmandriota) July 4, 2019
Thankfully, there have been incredible, influential people who are working toward building a more Lyme-literate society so these deniers can be shut down. Wait, what’s a Lyme-literate society? People, but more specifically doctors and other medical specialists, who know WTF Lyme disease is, how it’s contracted, how it impacts people who’ve contracted it, and how to treat and/or manage it. Because right now, the public is severely misinformed and doctors don’t know how to properly care for people like us, which is why so many people go undiagnosed for so long.
Avril Lavigne, a fellow Lyme survivor, runs her own foundation and donates proceeds of her sales to support Lyme research and awareness. Because in her own words, “Lyme disease is a global pandemic but NOT a global priority.” And although Justin Bieber is newly diagnosed, his voice is louder and carries more weight than those who’ve been silenced and belittled when we’ve shared our experiences in the past, so I really hope he uses his platform to help those in the same boat as he is so no one has to suffer like us in the future.
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Today @JustinBieber shared that he has Lyme disease. There are too many people that have this debilitating disease! People I love and care about and many friends and fans I have crossed paths with. To everyone affected by Lyme, I want to tell you that there is HOPE. Because Lyme is a daily struggle, for the better part of two years, I was really sick and fighting for my life. Writing #HeadAboveWater helped me get through the worst of it, but the bad days still come and go. At the time, putting together my album saved my life. I needed to tell my story and to be able to share my experiences with others. Lyme disease is in all 50 states in the US and in EVERY country in the world, except Antarctica. It is a global pandemic but NOT a global priority. I never want others to suffer the way that I did, and because of that it is now my mission to raise awareness & funds that will help eradicate this life-altering disease. Portions of proceeds from every show on the rest of the #HeadAboveWater tour and merch sales will continue to go directly to Lyme disease. I will continue to fight and to support! @TheAvrilLavigneFoundation supports people with Lyme Disease, serious illness or disabilities. We raise awareness and aid PREVENTION of the Lyme epidemic. We impact the lives of individuals and families affected by Lyme Disease through TREATMENT grants administered by our charitable partners; and we’ve aligned with @globallymealliance to accelerate scientific research. Please, JOIN US as we endeavor to educate people, prevent the spread of Lyme and find a cure. Our initiatives enable us to provide HOPE and expand the number of lives we’re able to transform. TOGETHER we can do this. #FightLyme #LymeIsReal #TheAvrilLavigneFoundation
Which is also why I’m SO FRUSTRATED over this whole thing! It takes CELEBRITIES to announce having a disease that 300,000+ people live with every day in order to spread some awareness about it?? IMHO that’s extremely f*cked up. So many people live with this illness, and no one blinks a GD eye because we’re nobodies, but someone as famous as Biebs says they have it and NOW interest is a little bit piqued? And even still, the conversation reverts back to a fight over him and his ex about who has the worse illness? GTFOH.
Maybe you didn’t know, or maybe you didn’t care to know about Lyme disease prior to Bieber’s diagnosis because you or a loved one hasn’t been diagnosed. Well, on behalf of those who battle this illness every day, I ask you to please care and become aware of how to prevent getting that dreaded infected-tick bite (read the CDC article all about that here). Because if you frequent grassy areas or hiking trails, you’re just as susceptible to contracting this disease as someone as small as me or as big as Biebs. If you don’t give a sh*t about us, then at least care about yourself.
Despite my aggravation at how the announcement has been received so far, I’m grateful that Justin Bieber is open about his Lyme diagnosis to his millions of followers, and I’m hopeful that maybe things will finally change and we’ll see an improvement toward a more Lyme-literate society moving forward. I just hope he never has to face doctors who tell him his condition doesn’t actually exist (like I have). I hope he never has to deal with people telling him that his symptoms are “just in his head” (like I do). I hope he’s able to find the medical help he needs, despite how there’s a severe lack of knowledgeable specialists and nobody understands what the f*ck he goes through every single day (like everyone else with Lyme). Who knows? Maybe he’ll help to smash the stigmas we face all the time and bring us closer to the better healthcare system that we’ve been needing for so long. One can only hope. Anyway, here’s “One Less
Lymey Lonely Girl” (which is WAY better than his new song “Yummy” … #yikes).
Yesterday, 16-year-old girls everywhere got some upsetting news when Justin Bieber announced he’s canceling the rest of his world tour. The 14 canceled dates were in North America and Asia, which means he officially has two continents pissed off at him. This, coupled with the fact that he was literally just banned from Beijing for “bad behavior” means that this summer might even be worse for Justin than all the ones where he was feuding with Selena Gomez on Insta or running around Boston without shoes. Actually, come to think of it, has Justin Bieber ever had like, a good summer? Sad. According to Justin’s people (he has “people” not “friends”) the dates were axed due to “unforeseen circumstances,” so naturally it’s up to us to brainstorm why Justin did it. Given our extensive research into fuckboys and fuckboy culture, and given that Justin is obviously the king of all fuckboys, we think we’re more than qualified to
make shit up make an educated guess as to why the Biebs isn’t continuing his tour. Here’s what we think:
1. He’s Tired
Justin’s ‘Purpose’ World Tour has lasted 150 dates and has been going strong since March of last year. Like, his tour is way longer than most of our meaningful relationships. He’s been to every continent, and he’s probably just fucking tired. We get tired walking from our bed to the fridge, so we can very much relate. Just take a nice long nap, Justin.
2. He Got Cyberbullied
Justin is a sensitive guy, and maybe he got his feelings hurt by something someone said about him online. Like, how is he supposed to do a show in Denver if someone said Colorado hates him on Twitter? Singapore is probably a really tough crowd, so we totally understand.
3. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is one of the best excuses to get out of basically anything. Even if you’re totally fine, just tell everyone you ate some bad sushi, and you’ll easily get out of your commitments for the next 2-3 months. Japan will understand, they literally eat nothing but sushi.
4. He’s Learning Spanish
Justin was probably embarrassed about not knowing the words to his gigantic summer jam “Despacito”, so he must be learning Spanish before he goes back out on the road. He has to sing like two dozen whole words, so maybe he just doesn’t feel confident in his abilities yet. No hay problema, amigo!
5. Some Girl
We don’t know who Justin is
dating sleeping with right now, but no doubt she’s some gorgeous Instagram model with no hint of a personality. Either way, she might have Justin hypnotized into never wanting to leave her. Seriously, Hailey Baldwin isn’t that hot.
6. He’s Dead
Justin posted a message about the cancellation on his social media, but there’s technically no proof it’s him. Maybe he died in a freak jet-ski accident and Scooter Braun is just trying to keep it a secret as long as possible? Just give them long enough to create a realistic hologram, then he’ll be back on tour in no time.
7. Bad Horoscope
Justin seems like the kind of guy who might be really into astrology, so maybe he just didn’t like what’s in the stars for him this month. It’s not like there are millions of dollars on the line here, so it’s a totally acceptable reason. I mean, when Mercury is in retrograde we basically don’t leave our house, so we feel.
8. Mafia Kidnapping
Maybe Justin can’t perform because he’s been kidnapped by the Russian mafia? If we get a Russian remix of “Despacito” within the next month, we’ll know he’s really in trouble.
Um so yeah we basically have no fucking clue. Sorry The Philippines, maybe next time! Justin, get your shit together, the people of Asia need you.
If you go to any pregame right now, there’s a 1000% chance that you’ll see some drunk girls trying to sing along to the “Despacito Remix” with Justin Bieber. It’s a fucking banger. We’re experts at singing along to songs we don’t actually know, but “Despacito” takes it up a notch with lyrics that aren’t even in English.
We were wondering if we should look up the lyrics and give ourselves an impromptu Spanish lesson, but it appears that Justin Bieber doesn’t even know the words to his own song. Yeah. On the track, Biebs sings fluently in Spanish, sounding super natural and ridiculously sexy. We initially had a moment where we thought “does Justin speak Spanish?,” but then we took some shots and stopped caring.
Earlier this week, Justin was at 1OAK in New York (damn it, where was I?), when they gave him the mic for his current number 1 song. It didn’t go so hot. The only word he actually sang was “despacito,” and he replaced the rest of the Spanish part with “blah blah blah.” So basically, Justin did exactly what we all do when “Despacito” comes on. But it’s only okay when we do it. To be fair, Justin was probably pretty drunk considering this was at a nightclub, but it’s also safe to say that his Spanish probably isn’t great even when he’s sober.
We’re not sure whether this really qualifies as cultural appropriation like some people on the internet are saying, but it definitely qualifies as Justin Bieber doing stupid shit again. But like, who the fuck really cares? This was a club performance, not a concert. Did anybody pay to see Justin, not including cover to get into the club? Exactly. I’m sure everyone at 1Oak was too drunk to GAF anyway, and if I know drunk people—which I do, being one myself no less than 78% of the time—they probably found it hysterical. At ease, internet.
Like, sure, if we were famous for singing we’d most likely want to memorize the words to our own song, but maybe that’s just us being overachievers. We can’t wait to see if “Despacito” makes the lineup for his next tour.