I’ve been sick for two months.  Only 8 weeks, actually, but it feels like longer.  I had a cold which turned into bronchitis, then as I was finishing my antibiotics, I got another cold.  All the coughing has caused me to either pull a muscle or crack a rib.  I’m not totally sure and it doesn’t really matter because the treatment for both is the same: Rest.

Rest is difficult when you are single and self-employed.  There are no sick days and there is no one to pick up the slack.  Several people have said something along the lines of “You’re so brave/committed/crazy to keep working while you’re sick.”  I think they meant it as admiration.  However, I don’t have a choice.  If I don’t keep working, I can’t pay my rent/health insurance/grocery bill/dog food bill.  Not really an option.  So the admiration made me feel a little resentful – not because the other person did anything wrong but because it feeds into my deepest fears and anger.

However.  In the past when I’ve been sick – even for a week – I have gotten really really depressed.  The solitude gets to me and makes me feel sorry for myself to the point where my internal monologue starts sounding like an angst-ridden teenager.  Poor me.  Nobody loves me.  If I was worth anything, I’d have a partner.  I should just die because clearly nobody loves me because they haven’t called to see how I am. nothing will ever get better.  Ever.  Until I die.  So I might as well.

Anyone else do this?

This time I’m not there!  I’m miserable.  I’ve been coughing so much that I”m actually developing my upper abdominal muscles from COUGHING.  (seriously. I can see it).  I’ve produced more mucus than I thought the human body was capable of.  I can barely sit up in bed because my side hurts so much.  But hey, I don’t wish I was dead.  I just wish I was well.

That’s progress, right?  I mean, I’d like to be overwhelmingly filled with joy at all time and be completely sure of myself and have self-esteem coming out my ears.  But sometimes you settle for being grumpily OK with being alive, even when you hurt.


3 Responses to Illness

  1. itsakoolife says:

    I never thought about it, but being sick in the middle of being depressed made everything more miserable. I love that you can see this evidence of change that most people wouldn’t notice. And it is a victory. I hope you get well soon. 8 weeks is a long time.

  2. Wendy Love says:

    Yes, I get depressed when I am sick too. Takes so little to bring me down and sickness usually does the trick. But then after being sick I also get the benefit of being a little less depressed for awhile….
    But 8 weeks, that’s a toughy.
    “Grumpily okay with being alive” is so much better than out and out depressed!
    I am praying for you….

  3. broken saint says:

    I’m definitely getting better although this is the longest I think I’ve ever been sick at once. It IS a victory! Such an improvement . Thank you both for your encouraging words and prayers!

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