The Common Cold And Not-So-Common Hysteria

I have a cold. And I am miserable. I don't know what it is, but getting ill – even with only a common cold – sends me into a hysterical state of mind.

I think a lot of it is the fear that my old fragile state has returned. Before I had my tonsils out in early 2008 I was constantly sick. I felt like everyone pitied me as I went from one razor blade throat to another. When I didn't actually have full-blown tonsillitis (or strep throat as it's known in the States) I still had a dull ache in my throat and was pretty much constantly tired.

One of my first-ever bosses came to the conclusion that I just had a weak constitution. The NHS doctors here either told me there was something wrong with my head (seriously – one said to me, "sometimes there's something wrong, but often it's in our heads") or that I just needed to take more vitamin C – as if I had never had that brainwave before.

After fully recovering from the surgery, I have gone from weeks of sick days a year to one or two here or there. But still. I hate any form of sickness, even the common cold, as those old feelings of inadequacy and freakishness come creeping back in, as if my gunky infected tonsils that I carried around with me for years was my fault.

It doesn't help that I've got the "biggest day of my life" looming in four weeks and my perfectionist fears are starting to take hold.

Being sick reminds us that we're human and fallible, and worst of all, don't have absolute control over our bodies. I'm seeing Super Physio more than usual right now even though I'm not in any pain, as we are trying to make sure that my body stays in tip top shape before the wedding – the right muscles loose and the right muscles strong.

As she said, it's not time to experiment with new radical exercise routines or seeing how long I can go without doing my physio exercises! There's no time in the next few weeks for my hips to get tight (causing backache) or for my neck to get sore from shoulders hunched up around my ears. As much as I want to be hard on myself right now for all variety of reasons (like not posting frequently enough!), now is the time to take care of myself, be kind and (gasp!) even try to enjoy the run up to the wedding, as everyone knows it will go fast enough. This is the one thing that all former brides and grooms have said – the actual day goes by in a heartbeat.

I don't always enjoy things as much as I should because I'm too busy thinking how I could be doing them better. It's a miserable way to live when I do fall into that trap and it's quite interesting that the next word in the Word by Word Self-Discovery Series that I've been participating in over the past few months is 'pleasure'! So stay tuned for a more in-depth look at that concept… I'm still mulling what exactly to say, but I'm forming an opinion pretty fast. If you want to learn more about the series or participate yourself, click on Joy's kick-off post. I think it's a great word choice!

In the meantime, it's soup for me and some rest (today it's Wagamama's Chili Chicken Ramen - pricey but effective). As much as I'd like to go to Bikram yoga tonight I don't think it's going to happen. I went through a whole pack of tissues in my last meeting. Yuck.

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  1. Taron - feel better! You know WHAT to do "now is the time to take care of myself, be kind and (gasp!) even try to enjoy the run up to the wedding," it's just the execution is hard.

    I think on some level, we're always children inside, and that's the part that emotionally reacts first. Then we have to pull back and say, well, no, this is NOT actually a tragedy, we can handle this.

    Especially when something strikes too close to our "bete noir" weaknesses. I can handle a cold just fine, but *I* go freaky-deaky at "we need additional views" mammo reports, since my mom died of breast cancer.

    So, be kind and take care of yourself. Post when you feel like it, and enjoy what you can.

  2. Thanks WG! The execution can be hard. I like the way you put it: "we have to pull back and say, well, no, this is NOT actually a tragedy, we can handle this."

    Sometime I feel like my automatic setting is 'freak-out mode'!

    Feeling much, much better today - it's amazing what a little rest will do. Thanks for the words of support.

  3. I have a feeling that I was the one who suggested the weak sounds like my nonsense. But I'm glad it was just the tonsils and that they are gone!

  4. No Sam, wasn't you! I'll email you and tell you who... been meaning to email you anyway. The tonsils were really pesky -- and made it even harder being me :)


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