Under the InFLUence.
Our household has been hit hard these past two weeks with sick of all kinds. The worst being the horrible, ugly, unrelenting Flu. (Go to hell, Flu.) Our sweet girl started the cycle, which then passed to her brother, then to me the past four and a half days, and has now found its way back to her. (Poor babe.)
So, as a sober adult, what can I tell you about the flu? It is a mind-altering, body-wrenching revisit to days of old.
First, let go on record without hyperbole, that this was probably the worst illness I’ve experienced as an adult. (I still shiver thinking our daughter went through this at all with her little body of muscles & bones.) Second, it lasted from Monday evening through to… About this morning really. My stomach is still tender.
I apologize for the specificity here, but even in the midst of my illness, I kept thinking to myself the audacity and stupidity of putting myself through hangover purges voluntarily and on a regular basis. (‘Regular’ as in once every week or two.) Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! It has been almost a year and a half since I’ve been sick like this, and the pain accompanying it all…. It all felt so familiar. In a horrible, nightmarish way, I felt like I was going back in time. The dizziness and disorientation. The aches. The tiredness and complete body fatigue. The ‘grey’ feeling that hangs around all day …. Usually until 5 pm when I would have had a drink to take the feeling away (NOTE: I did not drink to get rid of my flu symptoms. Not recommended.). The sweats and chills. The stink. The stomach churning. The brain fuzz. The feeling of Time pressing down like a dead weight just sitting on top of me. Minutes going by so slowly. Painfully, painfully slow. …. Just thinking about it all makes me feel gross.
Thankfully, as my mom pointed out, the Pavlovian guilt I was feeling off and on this week was only that – a learned behavior. The flu was 100% actual virus, and not induced voluntarily.
Looking back in time, why would I ever choose to POISON myself to the point of sick? … Okay, yes. Alcoholic. Yes. Little to no control. Yes it was about escape. … But wow. What a price I paid for it.
This jog down (gross, painful, miserable) Memory Lane has been illuminating, and a positive, but sore reminder of what I have gained by what I gave up.
Day 613, Ugh, but betterish.