Mind or body?
Wheezling and sneezling as I try to blog this morning, I realize that history has a way of repeating itself – even if it is four years later. This one hit me right out of the blue. Unexpectedly. One moment I was sleeping peacefully, and next thing I knew as I awoke a couple of days ago, a cloud of illness had filled my head and chest … head and heart? Between the sneezing and coughing, eyes streaming and painful fever body pains, I was wondering, "Why oh why has this happened to me?" And immediately I heard my therapist in my brain asking, "Do you think you have so much power?" … to bring on an illness psychologically, he means. And so I succumb to the bug that landed in me and tell myself, "You are not to blame." I surrender, let go, sink into my bed with tissues, Advil, tea and Vicks vapor rub. How can I feel lonely or invisible with those four buddies in tow?
And yet I do. What can I say? I am not good at being ill. I dislike feeling helpless and hurting, and especially asking for help. I become impatient to get well, as if the sickness prevents me from living. After all, sickness is part of living. Another way for body and mind to take a breather from life's daily routines. A way to realize that I am, in fact, dispensable. So I try to breathe into the moment, be here now, and accept where I am … until I start spluttering and coughing again!
Time for another hot drink for my parched throat. I tumble down stairs into the kitchen and switch on the electric kettle my son gave me seven years ago for my birthday. This old kettle is yet another friend to see me through this sickness. Sun has started to stream through the windows. It looks like a beautiful spring day out there even if it is still below freezing. Perhaps if I bundle up I might manage a small walk in the neighborhood this morning. I have been reading Bob Greene again, and know that oiling my muscles and joints with movement is one of the best ways to get well again. Ah, I feel a guilt spasm coming on … did I become sick because I have been overeating and not exercising enough lately? Did I make myself ill?
Or is it because my therapist told me I have changed? I remember feeling most uncomfortable when he said that to me on Tuesday. Indeed, I wanted to pick up my bag and rush out half an hour before the session was over. I mean, I felt he was right. I could sense it in my behaviors and interactions these past six months – at work – at home – out and in. So, perhaps I got ill to show him and me I have regressed – have not really changed after all? And then I hear my therapist in my brain asking, "Do you think you have so much power?" … to bring on an illness psychologically, he means. And so I succumb to the bug that landed in me and tell myself, "You are not to blame."