sunnuntai 17. elokuuta 2014

Day 407: Being ill


I have now been sick for 14 days, of which I have had a fever during the last 11 days. The disease was identified as mononucleosis or “kissing disease” (a nickname derived from the fact that the virus only transmits through direct contact with another's saliva). The symptoms include high fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, swollen face, sore throat, stomach cramps and an overall fatigue that in the most extreme cases can go on up to months or even years. Once infected, the virus will remain in my body for the rest of my life.

The first few days with the muscle cramps were heavy, because I thought I was dealing with the usual kind of pain that comes as the result of having a bad posture or not exercising enough, and then got frustrated when the pains were just getting worse despite my attempts to support my muscles in healing. When the fever struck on day 4, I was overwhelmed by how “everything” can happen at once, as I still thought that all of my slowly-occurring symptoms were unrelated to each other. By Sunday the fever was reaching 40 degrees celsius, I felt like I was going to die and I was so unbelievably frustrated, as I had “been a good girl” and given myself rest - despite the fact that I wouldn't have wanted to - because I just wanted to heal as fast as possible so I could get on with my life. I didn't know why the fever was going up, I didn't understand any of my symptoms and I was getting depressed and anxious and thus cried a lot and tried to write during those few hours of the day I was awake. I felt cut out and separated from the world, a prisoner in my own home. I didn't sleep for many nights because I was too restless to empty my mind, and all the entertainment I had consumed to “keep myself busy” while hurrying up healing attacked me mentally during the nights.

On day 9 I got the diagnosis and my anxiety dropped, as I now knew I wasn't dealing with a normal flu and that I had done nothing “wrong” to not be healed already. With the knowledge of what was happening in my body I could give myself the peace of mind to rest and the time needed for the body to go through the process of adapting to the presence of the virus - I mean, my body's gonna have to deal with it for as long as I live! The fever lowered a bit and I started having energy to be awake and do something light, but as these kinds of days have now been rolling by, I've increasingly felt how everything that I am doing or thinking of myself possibly doing is somehow useless, a pastime, as if I was just killing time – and when I pointed out to myself that I am now simply on sick leave and that it is OK to not push myself too much, I asked myself: if I wasn't sick and didn't have all these constraints, what would I be doing now? And the response I got from myself was just as unfulfilling and depressing as all the thoughts I'd had before. I felt that everything I would be doing during these last few weeks of my summer holidays would be “killing time”, constructing sandcastles only to let them be blown away, and besides that, I'd be doing it alone or with people I didn't like or with not enough of a variety of people.

I'm a university student with a 3-month-long summer holiday, and for many reasons I decided not to plan anything special for this summer. I'd stay here in my hometown, working as much as I could (which turned out not to be much) and just give myself space and time to focus on myself and whatever personal projects I wanted to give my attention to. My semester begins on the second week of September, and until then I still don't have many plans.

So, where has my focus been during this summer? I have had a new relationship I have invested quite a lot of time in. I have traveled a bit, gone to some festivals, prepared for and celebrated my sister's wedding and experimented with having cats. I've read some books (not as much as I planned to) and played some piano (way less than I intended to). Basically, I don't think I've had a moment where I've had to wonder about what to do next, because the opportunities have been presented to me – one could even say I've been a bit busy, lol.

So I'm guessing a partial cause of this unfulfillment experience is the fact that I am now for the first time actually facing what my summer would have been like in some scenarios: if I had to spend it alone (as I am now doing in isolation) and without going anywhere (as I can't now take up anyone's invitations). I am in shock of this leisure, especially because I cannot do anything physical yet, which is probably what I would be using a lot of my free time for. I don't find fulfillment in studying when I can't balance it out by going for a run. I don't find satisfaction in making music when I can't shake it off with yoga. I have figured that I am a very kinaesthetic person (not saying that everyone isn't or couldn't be), and not being able to move has been tiresome for me. I've felt as if many of my preferred channels of self-expression have been cut off, as I haven't been able to dance or sing or even fucking walk properly.

So, the reason I'm writing all this is to try and make sense of the experience of unfulfillment, resistance, loneliness and dissatisfaction that has been triggered during this illness. It's been a tough 2 weeks for my psyche, as during this time many points concerning my new relationship, proactiveness and in general just living a life have surfaced.

I'm also curious about the infection itself. It may be quite telling that I got a “kissing disease” while coming down from the rush of endorphins of embracing and establishing a new relationship – I could say I've been quite easy pray, lol, with my guard way down. I don't know where I got the infection, but because it only transmits via saliva, a good guess would be my new partner. There are some things that have been straining the relationship as the premise of it was left a bit unclear, and I'm kinda thinking how this is now the “payment” for my carelessness, as I did see the things we slid under the carpet and chose to ignore it. “This is what you get for constructing a relationship in this manner.” In a way I'm not surprised at all.

Ok. There's a lot to process here, so I will continue tomorrow by going through what I wrote today and writing specific self-forgiveness on what I find.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti