Reluctantly Breaking my Health Streak

Feb 11, 2014 by

          Confession: I am sick. Ugh! I hate that I just wrote that. It makes it so official. Before now, I have not been sick since a weak bout of strep throat in the summer of 2008 – so weak that I went clubbing despite it. I am ruining a five-and-a-half-year health streak, people! I am not impressed. The sickness, I can deal with. Destroying a life record sucks ass. Hence why I’ve been in denial about it since Thursday, when I first felt the unfamiliar tickle in my chest. By Saturday, I was casually waving off my sister’s concerned, “Are you okay?” after my multiple cough attacks in the grocery store. Yesterday, I was irrationally accusing my abnormal use of tissues and Rudolph-red (thanks, work friends) nose on the dust in my apartment, given that I am living in concrete. As everyone at work pointed out, the flaw in my premise for denial was this: I was not in my apartment.

          This morning, I decided to accept it. I could have continued to pretend that I’m not sick, but doing so would not stop the fluids flowing from my eyes and nose. I skipped both the gym (an extreme rarity) and work. I’m not one to use my sick days. I felt guilty using one when I got rear-ended in early November, so I definitely felt guilty using one today. I quit my old workplace over a year and a half ago, yet I still carry aspects of its culture with me. There, being sick was unacceptable. I never was, but I was malnourished and sleep-deprived on the regular, as were all of my counterparts. We did what we had to do: we skipped meals for days, we pulled in-office all-nighters, and we ran on EST for the benefit of our clients while flying across time zones. Sick days? What sick days? We lacked benefits and managers with basic empathy.

          To overcome my guilt, I am reminding myself that I am entitled to use my benefits, one of which is paid time off when sick. My nose feels as though it is charred and my lungs can’t inhale air without expelling it, so I princessed out today. Yeah, I feel like a baby with an unbelievable guilt complex, but I’ll get over it. I needed the break.

          Anyway, I’m off to have dinner with a friend! Manicotti can only help. (I sound like a nonna.) I’ve apologized to her in advance for the lung that I may cough into my plate.

Happiness Tip: Admit that you’re sick, and use a goddamn sick day.

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