Sick Note

Sick Note

sick noteThis is my sick note. To apologise for my absence.

I am sick again.

I am sick of being sick.

I resist it mightily. I resent always being sick.

I heartily resent the moral insinuations that being sick is my fault. That I’m doing something wrong – not resting, eating the wrong things, taking the wrong things – depending of course on who you’re talking to – the constant is that you’re to blame. It’s your fault. There’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you.

And the inner voices blaming me for being a drama queen, requiring more than my allowance of sympathy or rest.

I’m trying my hardest here.

I would dearly love to not be sick. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Keeping all the plates of my health spinning in the air is something I rarely manage. It’s a full time job.

I dearly, truly wish it wasn’t.

Being sick gets in the way of being the writer, the mother, the friend, the wife I wish I could be.

Sick requires apologies, and rest, and making excuses again and again. And taking extra care of yourself… and still getting sick.

And getting frustrated at myself and so trying to do a normal amount… and getting even sicker.

Sick makes me jealous of all those who can do normal life. Who get a cold once every three years. I would say I am well a couple of days a month. Tops. Every year. It sucks.

I was sick a lot as a little girl. regular trips to expensive Harley Street doctors. One of the most regular inhabitants of sick bay at boarding school.

My mother would write me sick notes for school. Sometimes because I was sick. And sometimes to get me out of swimming in the freezing outdoor pool in April. Being sick was a little holiday. But I don’t WANT to be sick, I don’t want any excuses. I want to dive into this life I call mine full and deep. To immerse myself more in it.

And instead I keep having to withdraw. To step back. To cancel. To say sorry. And rest.

There are no answers. Just endless, different elements of illness.

Not proper life-threatening ill. Just sick enough to not be able to function properly. A lot of the time.

If I didn’t work for myself, I couldn’t keep a job. But because I do, I can… and all things considered I do a fucking good job.

And then it hit me.

Perhaps sick isn’t getting in the way of my work. Perhaps sick is my work…

Learning to live within my vulnerabilities. To write and create despite… and because of… a body which is often not functioning at its prime. Perhaps my story is in the struggle. The material is in the pain. The work is in the healing.

Sick is where I learn my patience. My compassion for others who are sick and struggle. This is where I have to slow down. To be present, really present IN my body, not zone out, but really FEEL it. And ask for help… be supported. None of those things come naturally at all – in fact I fight them kicking and screaming.

The problem with sick, is my resistance to it. My belief that I shouldn’t be sick. That I should be doing other things. That my work, my doings in the outside world are more important than what’s happening right now in my body, my inner world.

And that’s what we are taught. Doing good, being bad. Outer important, inner invisible. Be healthy. Be happy. All the time. Or you are a failure. A waste of space. And in this life you have to EARN your place.

So it’s quiet here. Because I’m sick.

And I dearly wish I wasn’t.

But maybe I’m learning important lessons… ones which I otherwise wouldn’t.

Resistance, my body says, is useless. I am a slow unlearner.

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