Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Alone

I’ve been battling what I can only assume is a stomach bug that’s got a touch of bipolar disorder. I’m woken up in the middle of the night by intense waves of nausea, and I get them during the day too, but I never wind up puking from it. I’m sometimes sluggish, I’m sometimes tired, I’m sometimes achy, and I have a headache sometimes. Sometimes I feel completely okay, but other times I feel like I do have the flu.

It all started on Sunday when I was standing in line at the grocery store. The first wave of nausea hit, and I had to grab a bottle of soda water from the belt and ask the cashier to please scan it now so that I could have some. I thought for sure I wouldn’t make it home, but I did. Monday I went into work late. Yesterday, I cancelled two appointments and left work early. Today I went in and was told to “stay home”, so I grabbed some work and headed back out the door.

I really shouldn’t have gone in at all today, but I felt compelled. I use to be the type of person who would look for a reason not to go to work, and I occasionally find myself morphing into that person again when I’m battling those long winter days or a period of depression. I now associate staying home from work with being stuck in some bad state-of-mind that I can’t pull myself out of without help, even when I’m legitimately sick. I crave routine, because I know that if I’m in a routine – following a routine – I’m okay.

This, of course, makes it nearly impossible for me to relax and rest when I need it most. Instead, I subconsciously try to prove to myself that I’m okay, and I do weird things, like attempt 45 minutes on the elliptical machine or go to Target to purchase 5 Tupperware bins to help me organize my house.

Then there’s the schoolgirl inside me who imposes all sorts of rules and regulations on herself, like “If you’re too sick to go to school, you can’t go do whatever fun thing you had planned to do after school”. As an adult, this translates into, “If you’re too sick to go to work, you can’t go to derby practice that day either”. Really, it’s not a bad rule; it’s practical. It’s a rule that’s grounded in reality, yet my mind wanders and attempts to outwit itself on a “technicality” by saying “If you go to work, you can go to derby” and turns a blind eye to the fact that I am actually sick. I’m too smart for my own good (or stupid, depending on how you look at it).

Last week I built up some momentum at my first few practices of the new year and new season, so you can imagine how hard it was to hit the wall and be unable to attend Monday’s practice. Even harder is missing tonight, which is why I think I tried to go into work today. Certainly the fear of “falling behind” in derby in combination with the fear of falling into a depression is enough to feed my neurosis that keeps me perpetually busy. So what does this say about me?

It says that I shouldn’t have to distract myself all the time to be okay. It says that I need to learn to be still – I need to learn to be able to take a break in my routine without fear that I’ll fall to pieces, mentally or physically. Things happen, and it’s unrealistic to expect that I’ll always be able to stick to my routine all of the time.

I also think it’s unrealistic to think that I can change this flaw instantly, but since I recognized it earlier today, I’ve been trying.

I didn’t do the work I took home today and I’m not going to practice, but I did wind up reorganizing my kitchen with the help of some new Tupperware bins. Hey, you choose your battles, right?


... that guy said...

Feel Better

Megan said...

You certainly talk about your poo a lot.