So I tried. I really, really tried. A physical victory indeed, but yet another mental defeat.
Why is it so challenging for me to be all right with taking time to let myself rest and begin the recovery process? After all, this “flu” (I’m sure it’s really a cleverly disguised plague or ebola virus) let me know it wasn’t going to go away on its own and rendered me more or less physically incapable of moving from the bed or couch since last Thursday. Bastard.
I know I vowed in I Don’t Do Sick to take the time I needed to get well — and there absolutely were successes and small victories. Holy crap this girl can sleep — and sleep I did. At least 12 hours a night, with naps ranging from three to five hours thrown in there for good measure. I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it. (Seriously, I am.). Obviously I needed this rest , and yes I do (FINALLY) feel better, even if I have a way to go before I am anywhere near back to normal.
If the road to recovery includes a lot of rest and plenty of fluids, it is as though I do everything I can do take the most difficult detour possible. When I find myself laying on the couch with a pile of magazines on one side and my laptop/work on the other, it is as though each side is mocking me like the proverbial devil and angel on my shoulders.
Angel: “Yes, you are sick! You can’t think or focus, so what good is doing work? Read that trashy magazine or watch a ‘Real Housewives’ marathon. Focus on you. Get well. Rest.”
Devil: “You chose to be an independent, work-from-home contractor. The work isn’t going away! If you don’t do it now, your clients will be pissed off, and you’ll be pulling all-nighters to make it up anyway. Time is money, sister. Get to work, you lazy worthless piece of crap!”
(or something to that effect)
I know recovering from any illness requires doing as little as possible, physically and mentally. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel a tremendous amount of guilt and even panic when I pick up the magazine or the TV remote rather than the laptop.
Why am I like this?? Argh!!
When I had my sinus surgery a few years ago, the situation was a bit different. I knew that I would be out of commission, completely drugged out of my mind and not able to work. What I didn’t imagine is how that would extend to not being able to do ANYTHING. I had my Netflix queue ready to go! Books ready to read! Magazines lined up! What did I do? Absolutely nothing. I laid in bed and drooled for however many days before I had to go back to work. Then I basically sat at my desk and drooled until my boss finally sent me home as I was in no condition to be working. A restless recovery, delivered courtesy of anesthesia and surgically reconstructed sinus chambers.
Obviously I am not comparing a little bout of the flu with surgery of any kind. But when I didn’t do crap (work or otherwise) after my surgery, it was guilt free. Why does it feel so wrong then to take a sick day? It’s not like I planned to get sick and spend the day on the couch like a slug.
I know I need to get over this little hangup. Easier said than done. At least I’m feeling better! I’ll take the small victories.