If my 13 month old nephew claimed my current attitude as his own, we’d call him a ‘Grumpy Gus’ because even when he’s being difficult, he’s still charming and adorable. Since I’m a 27 year old adult severely lacking in charm at the moment, my current attitude just makes me a dick. I’ve been stalled in a shit mood for a few days now thanks to a nasty viral infection. When I started feeling ill, I fell into a state of disgruntled pissyness, from which I’m finding it quite difficult to climb out.
My logic goes something like this: I quit drinking and smoking four months ago. I should not be getting sick. And now that I think about it, I should also be very skinny. And rich.
Whimpering and sniffling, I declare: “it’s not fairrrrr” in a tone of voice usually reserved for angry toddlers in the toy aisle at Target when they’re refused a new trinket.
Irrational? Yes. Illogical? Yes.
I’ve decided I can both understand the ridiculousness of my current insolence and allow myself to wallow in it just a little bit because, well, life with no filters.
I never thought I’d be the type of person to harbor nonsensical sobriety theories, which is why I find my emotional temper tantrum to be somewhat comical, but also telling. I’ve always been prone to sinus infections and respiratory issues. I’m realizing I must have attributed most of my previous susceptibility to an unhealthy lifestyle because when I woke up with a severe sore throat earlier this week, I felt legitimately betrayed. And pissed. “What was the point of quitting if I’m still going to get sick?!” flashed ever-so-briefly through my mind…but flash it did.
I guess somewhere deep in my subconscious, I buried the notion that quitting drinking alcohol and quitting smoking cigarettes would resolve much more than is actually possible. Or, at minimum, I believed the eradication of booze & cigs would result in the eradication of certain shitty incidences…like sinus infections and weight retention.
I can’t stress enough how much rationality I’ve applied to these past several months, which is to say: I understand substance abuse is a symptom of something bigger; I know abstaining from alcohol isn’t a magic fix-all; I know time takes time; I understand human beings fall sick regardless of their lifestyle. But somehow, despite desperately wanting to remain above irrationality, I found myself laying in bed surrounded by tissues, pissed off because I’m sober and I quit smoking and my body just shouldn’t feel this terrible right now…that’s not the way this is supposed to work.
And then my sweet, talented photographer mother posted photos of my nephew’s first birthday party and again I found myself feeling pissed off because I’m sober and I haven’t lost weight and “what was the point of quitting if I’m still going to be fat?!”
I shouldn’t get sick. I should be dropping pounds left and right. I should look and feel like a fitness model. I should have, like, a million dollars by now. Right?
Mercifully, I’ve been able to disregard those moments of absurdity. I’ve allowed myself to wallow in a bit of self-pity for a few days because I do feel awful and I loathe being sick. If it were up to me, I’d fall asleep this instant and wake up when my head is clear of both literal and metaphorical slime.
In the meantime, here are some words that are making me feel good things: