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.