I’ve been sick all this week with an achey feverish headachey thing.
Being sick is a real ‘at risk’ time for anxiety and depression issues. It’s hard to not feel down and it’s also hard to get perspective on things.
I found myself with a lot of time but feeling too yucky to do anything. Couldn’t read or watch TV or go on the computer without headache getting worse. Sleeping worked for a few hours at a time but I would wake up with a sore back from laying down too long.
I always tend to catastrophize when I am not at work about my colleagues reactions to my absence. I still answer emails and do what bits of remote work I can but I always end up imagining everyone is mocking me about being away. I had only been back at work one day from a few days holiday before I got sick so I made it worse in my head. I managed to invent a situation where they just made me redundant.
When I am well I am learning to intervene when negative thoughts start creeping in and using mindfulness and meditation I can usually nip the catastrophizing in the bud before it gets too damaging. Being unwell I have found it harder to make the techniques work.
I was lying awake the other night around 1am a million miles down a rabbit hole where I lose my job and can’t find another one. I was feeling really awful but recognised finally that I was essentially torturing myself with thoughts not facts.
I started a meditation technique I have described to you before. You visualise a stream that leaves float gently down. When you have a thought you place it on the leaf and let it float away.
It started well. Thoughts of colleagues and conspiracies floated gently away and I felt the anxiety easing.
And then the stream burst into flames and became a river of lava. The leaves became chunks of rocks and the thoughts on them tiny devils. The sky melted into the lava letting out waves of hot steam whilst the devils pranced and played.
I had relaxed enough to fall asleep and the fever had taken over. The devils all looked like the daemon model I had painted the previous weekend. It wasn’t so much scary as it was just plain weird. I eventually woke drenched in sweat what turned out to be a few hours later.
This was just one of a number of weird dreams from the last week. Another I was driving my Dad’s car along the spine of a skeletal dragon and in another I was trying to cross a bridge without offending local tribes people who took incorrect bridge walking as a cultural insult.
I’m feeling less bad now but still not 100%. I’m a bit paranoid about making other people sick but will try to go back to work tomorrow if I can. Between poor mental and physical health I am almost entirely out of all kinds of leave which makes me worry.
Finding it hard to be positive right now. I had been doing well with my mental health and I realise that it is not the best time for taking stock whilst being sick but I can’t help but feel a bit lost and displaced.