Sick meditation

Being sick isn’t fun, but it isn’t all bad. I’ve had a sore throat for the past few days, and because of it I’ve felt rather groggy and low energy. However, it did allow me some time to spend on myself. I’ve found meditation easier when sniffling.

It’s funny—I spend the majority of the day alone, but it’s still not enough to satisfy my introvertedness. I spend 2-3 hours each day in my car, and about 8 in the office in my private cubicle. Add in the 6-8 hours of sleep and that only leaves about 6 hours a day where I can be around people, and even then I often opt to spend some of it alone.

It’s not so much the amount of time I spend alone, but the quality of that time. At work, I’m often busy on the phone or dealing with something else—my mind, as it should be, is on the work. Sleeping barely counts, and those precious 6 free hours are often spent doing something that keeps my mind off myself. The car is nice, but I’ve taken to podcasts. With constant information everywhere, “alone” doesn’t feel like it used to.

While I’m sick, I need to focus more on how I’m feeling. I have to take care of myself more than usual. I choose more comfortable clothes, with layers in case I get too hot or cold. I have to pack tissues and cough drops, and make myself tea.

Being sick basically forces you to be more mindful. Am I feeling worse, or better? What needs help? I’ve done more “body scans” in the past few days than I have nearly ever, and it’s because it both helps me care for myself and helps me stay centered.

My mom often says that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I got sick because I need to be more mindful. Maybe I got sick because I’m stressed out for a variety of reasons. Most likely I got sick because my boyfriend was sick, not because of any mind-centered reason. Who knows. Whatever the reason, I didn’t mind, I am glad it’s nearing its end though…hopefully.

Lying to myself

When I’m sick I often can’t tell how sick I am. I tell myself it’s not that bad, that I’m faking it, that I’m being a wimp. If I eventually cave and go home sick, however, it washes over me like a tidal wave and I realize how I was on my last leg all morning.

I lie to myself. Usually it’s in the form of “It’s not that bad” to help myself get through things. It’s surprising that it’s even possible to lie to yourself, since in lying one must by definition know the truth and purposefully evade it. Perhaps a better term would be pep talk. I give myself little pep talks. It’s not that bad. You can get through it. It’s only X more hours.

I’m also constantly telling myself that the worst is over. X is half over; just repeat what you’ve already done. You’re closer to the end than the beginning. The rain is letting up.

Or I bargain with myself. At least it isn’t a sore throat. At least it isn’t still morning. Double whammy: At least it’s almost over.

A common theme is thinking about myself in terms of “You.” I think it’s because hearing “You can do it” from a voice, even if it’s my own, gives me more confidence than an “I can do it.” It gives the impression that someone else thinks I can do it, not just me.

I wonder why I can’t give myself pep talks in my own voice, as myself. I have to use this “You” to take myself seriously.

Then again, I wonder why I need these pep talks at all. I suppose the reason for both is a lack of self confidence. Something like, I don’t trust my own judgement so I have to hear it from someone else, even if that someone else is just me pretending to me someone else.

Maybe I’m overthinking something everyone does, I don’t know. All I know is, I’m not a good liar, especially not to myself.