The Roller Coaster of Being Sick
I tested positive for Covid on Saturday. After two and a half years of managing to avoid the plague, the bionic women fell.
One of the things Covid gives you is time. For some, this may actually be a blessing. You’re forced to slow down, not do much, and rest. For others, this is a curse; time brings overthinking and guilt for not getting things done or letting people down (so your brain says at least). I am very open with clients about my journey through life walking hand in hand with depression, so I am sure you can guess which of these I fell into.
While contemplating life this morning, I realized that I had read many articles about the physical effects of Covid. One Google search will bring up dozens of places to read about what your body is going through and what you have to look
forward to. But no one seems to be talking about how being sick can be a playground for depression, anxiety, OCD, and all of those mental health frenemies. Or maybe they are and I ignored the articles, instead focusing on the worst case possibilities and statistics. Either way, I thought this blog may be a
good place to let you know that if you are dealing with emotional struggles while being sick, you are not alone. A slew of emotions will come to the party when you are ill- it is normal and you are allowed to feel them.
For me, the biggest challenge with Covid has been the sadness that comes with it. I can’t even really pinpoint what’s triggered the sadness, but it’s there. Here’s an example: my parents have been so supportive, bringing soup and medicine and ginger ale and anything else I may need,
however for their safety I make them stand on the porch while I am inside. After they leave, the guilt and sadness come in; I know I am doing it for their own good, but what I wouldn’t give for a hug from my mom and dad right now! Do they think I am just using them to bring me things? What if something happens to them while I am in quarantine? Losing taste and smell was another one; I don’t think we really know how much we rely on our senses until they are gone. Mine took a vacation yesterday and anxiety and depression have taken their place. What if I can never taste again? I just want a cup of coffee but what’s the point? It can take years for the senses to come back- it’s rare, but….anxiety anxiety anxiety!
So, how do we deal with these big, heavy emotions when our bodies are trying to heal and recharge? That is the pickle it seems! I think the first step is being truthful with yourself about how you are feeling. If you’re angry, sad, scared, or anything else, acknowledge those feelings are there and that it is OKAY! Taking ownership over your emotions can be a very powerful thing.
Great, Amee, I acknowledged what I feel. Now what?
Be kind to yourself. Take that nap, binge watch that show, cry if it helps…do whatever you have to in order to rest and recharge. Let go of the guilt. The laundry will be there when you feel better, the kids will love eating pizza- it will be okay. Make sure to take care of your body as it heals. Stay hydrated (popsicles are great!), eat when you can, nap to give your body and brain a break, don’t overdo being active. These are all needed in order to feel better; it is not being extravagant or selfish. Actively remind yourself it will get better. It may not feel like it will as you are traveling through the sick storm, but look back and remember you have always healed and come back stronger, and you will this time. And put down Doctor Google- statistics can be terrifying! (I have to remind myself of this one constantly!) Let others take care of you. This can be a really tough one if you are a natural caregiver- remember you are loved and people want you to get better.
Take care, my friends. Wishing you peace and grace until the next time we meet.