I’ve learned something about myself this week.
I’ve always hated being sick, but not for the reasons I initially thought. I thought I hated being sick for the obvious reasons like feeling like crap. I was home yesterday nursing what has become a pretty dreadful cold when I discovered there was more at play here.
As I sat down on my couch, blanket and tea in hand, I was swept with an overwhelming sadness. It wasn’t the kind of sadness that accompanies any physical ailments, it was more sadness cloaked in guilt.
As you probably already know, nothing is ever easy when you have an anxiety disorder. Instead of just realizing and accepting you are sick and deal, I have to turn it into a huge big deal that has me questioning my overall contribution to life.
For example, by taking the day yesterday and resting, I used a good portion of the day laying on the couch and berating the fact that there were countless things I could be doing at the moment to better the world. Instead of taking my Neo Citron and tuning in, mindlessly, to Maury and Jerry Springer, I bemoaned the fact that life was going on outside of my house without me and that soon I would be a distant memory to the players in my life.
Yes, I go that far. The common cold is anything, but common when coupled with everything else that goes on inside my body and that includes my brain. I don’t have a martyr complex. I know this for sure because I know martyrs. When martyrs get sick, they haul their sorry asses out of bad no matter how bad they feel, get dressed and spread their illnesses throughout the community in the name of “the show must go on”. They say things like, “Don’t mind me.” Hack. Cough. Hack. “I just have too much to do and I don’t want to burden anyone else with it.” Sniffle. Sneeze. Hack.. “Don’t get too close, I’m highly contagious, but still, I’ve got to be here or the entire operation will grind to a halt.” THAT’S a martyr and trust me, that ain’t me. I’m too self-obsessed to be a martyr.
When I’m sick, I feel there is NOTHING I can do, but roll myself into a ball and spend the day berating myself and trying not to talk to anyone. I make a mental list of all my life’s goals and then systematically go through it and tell myself why I will never accomplish anything since I am such a sickly, pathetic creature. I think about the world of activity going on outside my door and how I will never be a part of it. I think of all the inside jokes I am missing and that stresses me out (I LOVE inside jokes).
Instead of just leaning back and enjoying the solace for a day and the comfort my little dogs can bring me, I wreck it by assuming there are several fun and/or important things going on without my participation.
There may be one positive that comes from the cycling of anxious thoughts, they take my mind off the body aches, sniffles and annoying cough that threatens to blow my head clean off of my shoulders. Small mercies.