Actually, I’ve been really ill. Migraine/headache for well over a week. Aching limbs (which alternated with the migraine). Spent all Monday night throwing up. to the point I was eating because I knew I would throw up and needed to throw up (Interesting rock fact: chocolate tastes like burning and sadness on the way back up). Even a single Rennie made me throw up.
Now, a week later, I just feel a bit tired and week. And tired again.
I almost didn’t go to the doctors because I don’t like getting up, I had finally managed to fall to sleep (and stop throwing up/feeling like I needed to throw up), and was half harbouring the idea of going to work (on almost no sleep and even less food – I know I’m nuts). As it was I had a temperature of 38.9C/101.48F.
I used to crave being physically ill. Over being mentally ill being physically ill is great. It’s relatable, it’s understandable, it’s common, it’s guilt-free. Just taking time off work, or off life in general, is so much easier when it’s for something like this, something physical.
Being off sick because I was too depression to work, or leave the house or even move was always fraught with guilt. A lot of it guilt.
Same if I was having a panic attack, no matter how serious it was, that guilt make me feel sick, made me feel worse. Taking time off work for my mental health is a double edge sword, a vicious cycle of doom. You can feel somewhat better, but the guilt really hinders any recovery.
I would try and make myself physically ill. Or at least lie about it. I’ve been doing that for years now. I spent a lot of time in the school sick room when I went to Penweddig – had a lot of headaches. I found it much easier to call in sick when I was physically ill, rather than have to explain what’s really wrong.
Especially when there’s nothing wrong and everything is wrong.
It’s easy to say it, to say exactly what I feel. Sometimes nothing is wrong but I feel like everything inside me is crumbling and everything around me is cracking and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
It’s hard for someone to hear it.
Hard for someone to understand it.
If someone told me, of course, I’d understand. And even if 1 in 4 people suffer from some mental health problems that doesn’t mean depression, or anxiety. Doesn’t mean they are going to understand my particular brand of crazy. Doesn’t mean you do.
So, instead of dealing with that. Dealing with the fact that I have to try and tell my boss I’m ill – while sounding fine because I have to put on a show just to pick up the phone – it’s easier to just have a cold. Or a migraine. Or anything else.
Like a ‘flu-like virus‘. Which is exactly what my doctor said I had. All the fun of the flu without it actually being the flu. I had a flu jab after all.
Now being physically ill is full of guilt. Not instead of mental illness guilt but as well as. I think it’s because for me to be ill now, and be that ill, means I need looking after. This comes with two issues that cause guilt.
One – I’m just not used to being looked after. Not as a kid by my dad, and not as an adult by my ex. So for my wife so look after me, to want to look after me, leaves me struggling slightly and I deal with that struggle with guilt.
Two – I just don’t think I am worthy of being looked after, I don’t think I deserve it. I’m a good person. Deep down I know that. I just have low self esteem. I talk a good game but once other people are involved it all goes a bit to hell and then I am worthless compared to most other people. Especially my wife.
Anyway, I’m better now, back to work tomorrow. Luckily a half day so I can have a bit of extra sleep. Then back on track, with life, with money, with trying to have a baby.
With Christmas! The tree is up, some presents have been received and some have arrived to be wrapped. If only I hadn’t used all my Christmas wrapping paper for birthday presents…yep back to normal.