Who is this guy?
Too bad he won’t go away.
I’m finally recovering from yet another nasty virus that has been hanging around my neck for three tortuous weeks.
Between the horrendous weather and my poor physical condition the second month of 2014 has been so bad I've renamed it "Fuck-You-Already."
It’s the usual scenario: my body temperature drops, my stomach rumbles like a dormant volcano coming to life and my energy sinks into the negative numbers.
This is part of the chronic fatigue problem that I’ve been having for many years now and I thought I was getting better at controlling my emotions, but apparently not.
I started off fairly calmly, taking a few days off from work to rest and watch a lot of bad TV. I was feeling better by Week Two and told myself that I was over the worst of it.
But I went into Week Three still feeling hideous and the anger took over. I couldn’t stay calm. Negativity flooded through my brain with the usual ridiculous, self-destructive ideas: why does this always happen to me? I’m never going get well. I’ve going to different doctors, taking all kinds of vitamins and nothing has helped.
What's even more frustrating is that two of the best things for depression is exercising and socializing. And thanks to this misery I can't do either. I get so upset I feel like ripping the pages from a calendar to mark off all the time I've lost.
Last week I dragged myself over to Manhattan with my sister so we could take our auntie out for her birthday. While we wandered through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my mind was churning out buckets of venom.
I had to stop at one point and mentally grab myself by the lapels for a rigorous reality check.
Where are you?
In the Met.
Physically, yes. But your thoughts are neck deep in a swamp full of hate.
Crashing Through the Snow
On President’s Day I staggered up to my chiropractor’s office, so filled with rage that the heat from my thoughts could have melted the mounds of snow that still covered the sidewalks.
My trip to the local laundry was even worse as I struggled to get my shopping cart through the ice and muck.
I hit one snag too many, lost my temper, and roughly plowed forward—only to find out later that I had broken one of the cart's plastic wheels. And I just bought this damn thing a short time ago.
I had been improving with the anger management but illness knocks me flat. It seems that my coping skills are effective except when I need them the most.
I am addicted to rage. I look for ways to get angry the way a junkie desperately hunts down a fix.
I don’t like saying that, but the first step in breaking free of any addiction is admitting that you have one.
There will always be plenty of things around to piss me off—from episodes in my past to what might or might not happen in the future.
One of the things I would like to do is separate my sense of self-worth from my physical health. Hating myself for being sick isn’t going to make me any healthier. It’ll only delay the healing process.
I’ve scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist in a couple of weeks and I just signed up for an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program at the Interdepenence Project in Manhattan. It starts next month and I’m hoping it can make a difference in how I look at the world.
And I've adopted a new viewpoint that I call DNA, which alternately stands for "Dynamic New Attitude" or "Don't Need Anger."
My shopping cart rolls roughly now, thanks to my last tantrum, but it still moves along. And so am I.