DRB: I’m sorry I made you sick.

Rat Brain, Self Care

Dear Rat Brain,

I’m sorry I made you (well, both of us) sick. I know I’ve been expecting it for a few months now, but it’s still somewhat down to me. And viruses.

I often do this by ignoring stress, telling you to shut up and delaying illness until it’s ‘convenient’ to handle it. Except there’s never a convenient time to be ill so eventually I just crumble. Like clockwork, I always get an extremely bad cold after an extended period of stress – several breakups, starting work, finishing my dissertations/exams… It’s happened every time. I’m literally forced to rest.

I’ve luckily never had pneumonia, bronchitis or anything like that, so these illnesses were just bad enough to keep me from functioning without actually causing me long-term harm. So I’d get over it, and just carry on the way I was. As a result, sometimes I’d just resist the illness entirely, making it worse. Some colds have gone on for weeks because of it. Once my A levels were finished I had an asthma attack for the first time after ten years. During my second year of university I was literally getting a new cold every 2 weeks. Not surprisingly these were both incredibly turbulent times in my life.

Not surprisingly, when I’m kind to myself and accept that I’m ill quickly, I recover a lot faster. This is kind of following on from my last letter to you, but if I hadn’t told you to shut up and go away in the first place we wouldn’t be in such a mess every few months. I largely ignore you when you want me to rest or stop giving myself such a hard fucking time.

Not surprising that you end up flicking the kill switch on both of us just so I’ll go to fucking bed.


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