Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Getting Sick, Getting Better

Originally posted on January 18, 2013

In the first few weeks of January I had a cold (not a flu) that still depleted my energy and appetite and even after the respiratory symptoms cleared up after about 2 weeks I have felt draggy. But more, I’ve felt that everything seems too much, a bit overwhelming, a steep hill. There’s been a heavy shaky weight that tempted me strongly to just collapse in my easy chair if not my bed. Gradually I’ve pushed myself to exercise, and once overdid it—mistake—but getting the sense of what’s too much and cutting myself a little slack, allowing myself to recover. And I have been. Each day the weak shakiness shrinks and a greater sense of well being and some appetite returns, first in the evening, then late afternoon, then midday, now the late morning. Getting better. But humbled.

I asked my wife if feeling that everything is “too much” is not completely pathological.  She said  that lots of folks have this burden—that’s why they stoke themselves up with coffee. Wow. It fits. It’s not depression, though maybe a little—but not psychological; and it’s not classical panic or anxiety, though maybe a little—again, not clearly psychological. I suspect it’s just depleted serotonin. I was tempted to start taking an SRI…but noticed the well-being in the evening and wondered if it might advance into the day—which it has.

Certainly it’s got me contemplating the varieties and ranges of life, the degrees of aspiration, drive, what is reaching too much. So I’m giving myself permission to notice that thin band that differentiates engaging, vitality, not letting myself “give in,” and yet not pushing myself either. I have been inclined to push a bit, unconsciously to compensate for an early life of lukewarm reciprocity. But I’m moving into a phase where I’m enjoying only a modest number of involvements—and recognizing that’s enough! I could push myself into more-ness, but differentiating between keeping involved and too much is sharpening. Interesting fine discriminations that I really wasn’t prepared to draw until I’d lived about  8½ decades! Ha ha!

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