The Failure of Getting Sick

It’s a bummer that being sick along with being a dad are two things that conspire to push my desire to write so far aside. Yet, I am digging my heels in this afternoon on a slow work day to have at least a small something to say. Mainly what I have to say is that being sick is a disaster for trying to make changes in your life. The first thing you want to do when you get sick and start to feel awful is to feel comfortable. And to feel comfortable the first thing you do is simply fall back on old habits. They got you this far, right? This is good enough, right? Stasis is fine when you’re sick. No need to look around or make any pushes to change things or be creative. They can all wait while you sniffe and cough and hack and blow your way through the misery of an illness, right?

Ugh. Right. And that’s the worst part about being sick outside of the sickness itself. You fall back on terrible habits. The energy to make changes is all used up to do your most basic day-to-day functions. Thinking is muddled. Organizing anything turns into simply maintaining non-disaster status. It all falls into a loop of suck.

Today I was desperate to get here, though. To write something. Even a little about why being sick sucks. And how sick is a sort of interesting exploration into failure you really don’t necessarily bring upon yourself, but when it happens you do spend a lot of time wondering about why it happened and when it’s going to end. The failure of the self to recognize being sick is a challenge as well. Denial runs rampant for those with a terrible flu or cold. Energy estimates and allocations are improperly estimated. Everything just goes to shit and you’re happy to get a good night’s sleep at some point. You’re happy to go to do regular things like make it to the grocery store. You definitely fail at making progress past day-to-day regular life.

This is an important lesson in failure for me. These unintentional failures, natural disasters if you will, happen. You don’t control your immune systems anymore than you control the weather. It does its level best to make you better and the result is depletion. You fail. Your body fails a little. And yet, it succeeds a lot. The terrible results of your immune system fighting illness is success and failure all in one container of messiness. I feel, though, like there’s something important to learn from the depleted energy and miscalculated energy exertions. About how working to make things better often has the result of making things a big mess for a while and then things start to get to a new normal. Just like an immune system, I’m wondering how much of a mess making changes in my life is going to make and how painful they will be and how much I will under and over estimate many things. If there were no changes, though, no mess, then wouldn’t an illness just win? Isn’t it just decay and death. Without the mess, nothing gets better and no new normal is established. Hm. I never though being sick with a rotten cold would teach me an important lesson about accepting the messiness of making things better.

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