"This is my first pain-free month," singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson revealed in an intimate new interview about her experience living with lyme disease.
The "Foolish Beat," singer explains the disease has taken both a great physical and mental toll on her body since her diagnosis last year.
"My back kept going out," she said. "I couldn't lift my head sometimes. My boyfriend said I was mixing up words in my texts. It really got into my cognitive skills. I took crazy amounts of antibiotics, including doxycycline. It killed so much stuff in my body that I became a shell of myself."
But recently, the 44-year-old says her health has been improving thanks to her work with a chiropractic kinesiologist.
"My strength has really come back. I've put back on about 12-15 lbs. Before, I couldn't ride my bike. I could hardly walk. Now I can. I went to yoga for the first time a month ago. I'm someone who has spent my life dancing and working out, and I wasn't able to do it with this disease," she said.
Debbie performed at the Chelsea Piers at the 2014 Great Imitator Masquerade Ball in NYC in May. (Photo Credit: Getty)
Debbie also explained she is feeling stronger without the help of antibiotics. "I'm on zero medications and two supplements. Isn't that crazy?" she said of her current medicinal regimen.
With her health improving each day, Debbie has returned to working in the studio and exploring new career opportunities. She will also be honored with an induction into the Long Island Hall of Fame alongside Clive Davis and Patti LuPone on Oct. 23.
"I'm taking things day by day," she says. "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."
Debbie, however, does make one last request during the interview — That people don't refer to her as "battling" lyme disease.
"I prefer to say that I'm 'overcoming' it," she says. "To call it a battle implies that there's a war with a worthy opponent, that some disease is a worthy opponent. I don't want to give this disease that kind of power over me. It's not a war. There's not a winner and a loser. 'Battle' sounds exhausting to me! It's a challenge that I'm overcoming."
PEOPLE had the exclusive interview with Debbie Gibson.
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