A spoonful of sugar.

I’m sick of being sick. I’m just going to put that out there. No matter how many spoonfuls of sugar I’m administered by a nanny with a carpetbag, the medicine is just not going down any more easily. Being sick is a challenge for most people, as I find we are, as a society, driven to go-go-go without taking time to just lay back, relax, and let something run its course. While I have been doing a much better job at just listening to my body and even *gasp* napping during the day, this bug seems stuck on me.

I find being ill a particular challenge as I am prone to worry that every little bug is something worse than it really is. As a matter of fact, as I type I am wondering if my cold/flu/thing has morphed into pneumonia. While this is unlikely, and my rational brain is telling me off for making mountains of molehills, the thought still niggles at me. So, in addition to feeling somewhat lazy for having lain around for the past few days, I begin to stress about the possible implications of my passing illness.

Perhaps to be ok with being sick one must have patience. I am the first to admit that I am somewhat lacking in the patience department. I am the type of person who seeks immediate solutions, even if they are simply a bandage on a bullethole. Sorry for the nasty visual. Perhaps in order to weather the storm of a summertime bug, you simply have to wait for it to run its course. That’s what everyone tells me, at least. Unfortunately, they (whoever “they” are) are probably right. There is very little I can do but sit in my little house and wait for the gremlin virus to leave my system.

While I’ve come so far in my recovery and made so many changes that I sometimes feel like a completely different person, there are certain aspects of my personality that don’t serve me well and yet cling to me like static electricity. The need to be constantly busy threatens to interfere with my magic cure to this virus- that is, rest and fluids. It is more difficult than I’d like to admit to simply lie on my comfy green couch and sip water and then get up and make some lunch. A snack. Dinner. So although I’m doing it, I’m fueling my body and giving it what it needs, my heart isn’t always in it when I’m not feeling 100%. It is moments like these in which I rely upon the skills of being mechanical, of simply going through the motions.

I cringe to admit the difficulty of just relaxing and recovering from sickness. So often I like to put on a face of “I’m so much recovered that I never struggle to do the healthy thing”. I like others to see my healthy body and healthy mindset and think that everything is peachy-keen. And for the most part, everything IS peachy-keen. I look back at the darkness that shrouds the past year and cringe. I look back at my past and acknowledge how much better life is on the other side. I don’t miss my old behaviours, and I usually don’t even miss my frail body. For the most part, I can thank my body, mind and spirit for having the power to escape the cage in which I was trapped for far too long. But I’d be lying if I said that it was not difficult to have a day with zero activity. It’s still hard for me to comprend that sickness, in and of itself, is something that requires energy. It’s hard for me to understand how I can sleep 11 hours at night and nap throughout the day and still be tired, when I am sick. It’s hard to go from controlling one’s body to trusting it and embracing it. Honouring it.

In short, this virus has put my recovery skills to the test. Fortunately, I’ve been able to do the right thing, and not even freak out about it. Without the help of Mary Poppins, I’ve swallowed my medicine, spoonful of sugar or no. And whether it’s food or Advil, I know I’m doing the right thing.

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