Guilty Little Sick Days…


Yesterday was a sick day…I’ve been sick for several days…but yesterday was the day I was supposed to go back to work…was the day that even though the kids weren’t due back…there were things I was supposed to do…meetings to attend…procedures to learn…classes to teach…
And…the responsibility of that changed everything…
I struggled…even though I knew I was better…I wasn’t well…I was still coughing…possibly still contagious…I got up…I made the bed…I got ready…I coughed…finally…I canceled…
I stayed home…stayed on the sofa…and I became a child again…remembering the days I’d stayed home from school…
Mama had two sick rules…
First…you weren’t really sick if you didn’t have a fever…
Second…if you made it past number one…if you missed school…you didn’t do anything fun…no playing…no going out later…even if you sincerely felt better…and even if the guy you’d had a crush on for months called…and asked you out…and all you had was strep throat…you stayed home…
Guilt set in…
My fever was finally down…technically…according to rule number one…I wasn’t sick…I coughed…
So…I shouldn’t have any fun…shouldn’t pop on Facebook…check my email…watch TV…however…I did some of all…but…I felt sufficiently guilty as I did…so…mostly…I read…but…I enjoyed the book…bummer…I coughed…
I find it interesting how quickly I can resort to my childhood emotions…when…from a nursing standpoint…I was sick…I won’t use all the descriptive terminology that defined my symptoms…not necessary…not pleasant…I coughed…
I would have excused anyone of you from work…told you that it would be better for you to get well…than to come in and infect your co-workers…or…relapse…or both…my supervisor said the same things to me…but…somewhere…buried inside me…was this nagging doubt…
What if nobody believes me…what if they think I just wanted another day off from Christmas vacation…what if I’m really not as sick as I think I am…what if I really should have gone to work…
So…I worked on that…as my temperature crept back up…and a migraine developed…I did the forgiveness prayer for the guilt I felt…I talked to my supervisor again…she said all the things I knew she’d say…she trusted me…she didn’t demand to see the empty Kleenex boxes…or listen to my chest…we made plans in case I didn’t feel like working today…I took something for the cough…I took something for the headache…I went to bed…
Today…I’m much better still…feel great…no…going to work…yes…still working on self-imposed, unfounded guilt…you bet your sweet bippie
Jane

8 thoughts on “Guilty Little Sick Days…

  1. The gentlest thing in the world
    overcomes the hardest thing in the world.
    That which has no substance
    enters where there is no space.
    This shows the value of non-action.

    Thus it is said:
    The path into the light seems dark,
    the path forward seems to go back,
    the direct path seems long,
    true power seems weak,
    true purity seems tarnished,
    true steadfastness seems changeable,
    true clarity seems obscure,
    the greatest art seems unsophisticated,
    the greatest love seems indifferent,
    the greatest wisdom seems childish.

    When you have names and forms,
    know that they are provisional.
    When you have institutions, know where their functions should end.
    Knowing when to stop,
    you can avoid any danger.

  2. That's beautiful Sandralee!

    And Jane – good to know I'm not the only one that suffers that illness guilt… OY VEY. When I came down with my cold, it was like pulling teeth to get me to relax… And then when I did, I felt so darn guilty because there was so much to do to prep for the holiday…

    My mom and I believe we are that way because of a strong work ethic… we're movers and shakers… I suppose that's a positive 😉

  3. Avoiding working because you want to play is not a good thing.

    Not taking care of yourself because you need to work is not a good thing either.

    Learning to take care of yourself is job one.

    Congratulations on a job well done Jane.

  4. Jenn…I remember that you had a hard time taking a rest…it's funny that we are so hard on ourselves…well…really…it isn't…

  5. Thank you Edie…I feel better when I get it right…and you know what…the world didn't stop spinning…just because I was at home!

  6. Jane,

    Yes, I do believe it can be easy to get "caught" up in the childhood guilt trips (aka your ego) however, self care is the best thing you can do for yourself AND others. Don't allow your ego to tell you you don't have a right to rest. You did the right thing to take the time to heal and then you can be even more in tune to go back to work or do what you would like.

    Take care my friend!

  7. Teresa…you are sooooo right…it is just sooooo hard in the moment sometimes…but…each time it comes up…it's something to heal and move forward…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *