Am I still sick because I’m single?
My sister called me this afternoon. “Was the last time you wrote on your blog September 11th?”
I said, “Yeah, I guess so. The thing about finding the kid on the road was the last one I did.”
“Is everything all right?”
Bless her heart. And I mean that in a good way, not in the southern belle not exactly a compliment way.
Aaarrggghh. (Yes, I even missed Talk Like a Pirate day.) I’m still sick. Not like I was, but just not feeling quite myself yet. Let me clarify: I feel exactly like my don’t want to do anything, totally tired, sit on my butt – no better to lie down – and watch a movie self. But with a persistent cough.
I’ve thought about writing. I’ve wanted to write. But when I would look over at my computer, I just couldn’t muster the energy or motivation to even open it up. I honestly didn’t realize that it had been so long between posts; the time has just melted away. However, I can assure you that, though I have not been writing, I have been doing a lot of thinking.
Well, some thinking. A little thinking. Okay, I had a thought:
Would I still be sick if I weren’t single?
Really. I’m even almost serious about that.
I think that being single enables me a certain amount of self-indulgence that I wouldn’t be allowed were I married with children. I don’t mean Peg Bundy married with children, but like my sister married with children. She has four kids and a husband, and if she gets sick, all those people are still there. They live there with her. So maybe they might help out a little more when she’s sick (correction, her husband may help out even more), but the expectations of motherhood do not disappear just because you “don’t feel like it”. Her 4-year-old and 4-month-old will cut her exactly zero slack in the mommy department, so she has a built-in motivation for getting better quickly.
Even if you have a roommate – you may not be responsible for that other person, but you are still responsible to that other person. That means cleaning up after yourself and doing the dishes; at least doing your share to keep a house running. And being pleasant…sort of…or trying to be. Again, simply by virtue of not living alone, you are forced to interact and be involved, to maintain a relatively normal level of activity and participation.
When I get sick, I can hole up in my little borough. So I do. I don’t have to do the dishes; I don’t have to do the laundry. Until I have to do the dishes and the laundry because I’m out of clean dishes and clean clothes. I can wear my pajamas for three days in a row and my dog Louis doesn’t care one bit. At least he’s never said anything.
I guess what I’m really talking about is mind over body. For example, when I was in my twenties, I knew I was going to get sick in the spring and the fall. I expected to get sick in the spring and the fall. And I did get sick every spring and every fall. Until I realized that I was basically telling myself to get sick. And so I decided that it wasn’t going to happen that way anymore. And it didn’t.
On the other hand, was it all in my head that I thought it was all in my head? Can you really just tell yourself to stop getting sick when the seasons change? Because you think you’ve talked yourself into getting sick when the seasons change? Because how can you stop yourself from getting something that you catch? Or maybe I wasn’t “catching cold”. Maybe I did talk myself into being sick. I don’t know. But I’m wondering.
So. I’m also wondering, because I’m single, and because my only real responsibilities are to myself and to my job, am I allowing myself to wallow in sickness? Am I allowing myself to not do the things that would help me get well? Like get out of the house, get moving, get back involved with my life. Like make myself open up this computer and write something.
And I’m wondering, can you get out of the habit of feeling well? And into a habit of feeling ill?