Sick as a…

I don’t feel well. I’m actually just in the process of finishing up a short day at the office. I came in to offset the extra day I am taking on Friday to extend the long President’s Day weekend. I had a whole plan: Get up, whip up a delicious and healthy lunch to take with me later, head to the gym for my tempo run (my new fav), hop on the subway and head to the office to tackle eight hours of work in half of the time (I’m generally not a fan of working on the weekends but being able to go at the day completely uninterrupted is indeed the best recipe for efficiency). Then I’d head home to squeeze in a few hours of writing.

The day has not gone to complete shit. I’ve actually surprised myself. Running was out of the question but I did manage to clean our bathroom this morning. I figured if I’m likely to be puking in that bowl later I want it to start out germ-free.

It was pouring today and I didn’t think I could manage the long cold walk from the subway, so I grabbed a Lyft and managed to be at my desk and getting busy before 8am.

Alright, I’m gonna stop now. I never write posts like this. I’m not a fan of them. As caring and sympathetic as my readers are, why would any of you want to spend the few precious moments you get in the day wandering over the trivialities of my last 12 hours.

Today’s post is going to be short–and unremarkable. But I think also necessary to my process and growth. I’ve got a few subjects that I really want to take on in a big way. While that’s exciting to me–it can also be hindering. My ego is out of control. I act as if something I write is going to be the be-all end-all on a subject. Eyes opened…CASE CLOSED. I think sometimes I feel so passionate about an idea or line of thinking that I forget that my enthusiasm undoubtedly stems from the subject’s depth–it’s almost limitless possibility for exploration and enlightenment. I don’t have to be the definitive voice on anything–being one among many that readers consider is honor enough.

I think there’s a vulnerability that exists in writing–the level of which varies depending on how open and honest we are willing to be. Talking about my ego makes me feel vulnerable. In recovery, we talk about our egos all the time–but it’s not something I hear many “normal” people mention. Most regard the ego as negative, so admitting if and when it leads our actions is not exactly clamoring at the top of most of our to-do lists.

Being vulnerable doesn’t feel good. It’s far easier and more comfortable to hurt someone else than admit that we are hurt. We have learned that rather than admit we are afraid–it fares better for us to make someone else afraid. This has been something that’s been bothering me a lot lately. When did we learn this? Was it the Greeks? Was it earlier? I can’t help but feel like at the beginning of time there was some man who in complete terror of feeling and expressing his emotions, declared that stoicism was to be valued above all. It created the most backward and yet foundational idea in our culture: vulnerability=weakness. 

I think this is a lie. One of the biggest lies we’ve ever been told, and I think it’s detrimental to so many facets of our society and our world.

With that big idea and very limited exploration on my part, I leave you. I’m sick and I need some soup and perhaps even some comforting processed little noshes that I never allow myself when well. I just figured if I’m really going to make a deep dive into ideas like vulnerability–and what the true meaning of courage is, then I’d best continue to practice making myself vulnerable and exposing my imperfect and incomplete thoughts. Perhaps sharing them with you will be just the impetus I need to push through my fears and release more of what I’m able to contribute, out into the world.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday all, and have a great week. x

 

 

header: sarah ball

38 thoughts on “Sick as a…

  1. Posts like this are what keep me coming back to your blog. You always manage to go a little deeper than surface-level and I appreciate that. Glad you’re feeling better! That first run back is always hard, but good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YESSSSSS. Vulnerability as a strength. Go bigger. Go deeper! I’m waiting for it!! I’m ready for it!!

    Also – as I’m behind in my readings, I hope my delayed response means you feel a ton better. Positive vibes from your Northern neighbour 😉

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    1. Girl!!!!!!!! Just starting to get back to normal. That flu was WHACK!! Omg, so bad. Totally got in that serious dark hole headspace. Your comment def helped pull me out an inch or two though. Need to get back to one day at a time–staying in the day, doing what is in front of me. I think being sick got me back in that crazy loop thinking where I’m stuck in the past and the future. Just TODAY! muah. x

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  3. Hey Cat – hope you are feeling MUCH better by the time you see this delayed response to your post! For what it’s worth I think you are spot on regarding writing showing a varying degree of vulnerability – but I’ve also learned that allowing this vulnerability into my writing has made me stronger rather than weaker, whatever cultural norms and standards would dictate. That said, I’m still not above hiding my true feelings behind a quick witted bit of dialogue when bravery fails me 🙂

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    1. Aww thanks Nik!! Unfortunately this flu decided to stick around for several days! On the mend now though so super grateful!
      I think I could use more quick witted dialogue if I am being honest–need a bit more balance in my writing i think!
      Anyway, so glad to be back in the land of the living. Thanks for the well wishes ! x

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  4. Sorry you’re feeling cat( an Irish term, also known as catmalowjin), Cat. Get well. The beauty of being in touch with one’s own vulnerability/ rawness is it gives an ability to empathize and feel compassion for others. My problem is the “earthling” without a program who believes us to be weak and treats us as such. But I gotta let that go otherwise I get resentful and that is a luxury I can’t afford. Hugs S x

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    1. Aww–you have to tell me more Irish terms so I can build up my vocab before our trip!!
      And yeah, honestly S, I think that compassion that we are capable of as addicts is one of our most valuable assets. It’s one of those crazy things that makes me grateful to be an alcoholic–it’s a special gift! And yes–those sans program can def drive me crazy–but that’s why we’ve got to spread the good stuff as much as we can!

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  5. Best healing wishes to you, Cat.
    Yes, the issue of vulnerability and how scary/risky it feels. Most of us go to very extreme measures to cope with this apparently intolerable feeling. Thanks for bringing it up, you’ve seeded some thought.

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    1. Thanks Steph! I’ve missed everybody! Just finally getting back into the real world, and the blogosphere. Terrible flu!
      “Most of us go to very extreme measures to cope with this apparently intolerable feeling.” This is so true. People will put themselves through HELL before they let themselves be vulnerable! It’s kind of unbelievable–but, believable. In recovery we say all the time, “these are your feelings, we promise, they won’t kill you.” Sounds funny but I’ve never met an alcoholic who was entirely sure their feelings wouldn’t kill them!

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      1. Welcome back, Cat– glad you are feeling better, sounds like it was dreadful.
        On the feelings, oh yes, I get it. An oft repeated phrase I use with clients–the feeling is real (yes, you feel whatever you feel, and that is valid), but the interpretation is suspect (you are very likely not in immediate mortal danger). And yes, so much substance abuse is driven by a desperate need to stop that feeling, and its attached belief, which comes from a felt sense–so much originates below the conscious mind, or at a non-cognitive level–that survival brain is activated and you’ve run 3 blocks down the street or already used before you realize you’re triggered. Major stuff, alright.

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  6. Oh dear, hope nothing really bad came to pass and you’re on the mend soon. Funnily enough, I post all sorts in my book reviews but just posted on my health, which I’m always a bit lairy about doing, opening myself up for people challenging me, etc. (I have handled a health condition in a way some people disagree with, I have some really mean reviews on the book I wrote about it!) but I wanted to help inspire people not to feel helpless when given a diagnosis, so I shared all my numbers. Nothing terrible has happened yet!

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    1. Just a really bad flu Liz! Finally getting closer to back to normal. First run back in 9 days today! It was tough and i was exhausted after, but very grateful to have my body moving again!
      I think it’s amazing that you open yourself up the way you do–I have always found the way you share inspiring!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I share more on other people’s blogs than I do on my own, interestingly. Still no fall-out from my cholesterol blog post, anyway! Glad you’re feeling better and on the move again, take care of yourself!

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  7. Hope you’re starting to feel better chick, sending virtual hugs. I’ve actually just read this while off work with a damn cold and stomach bug. And you’re so right, I hate being this vulnerable, but I’m also trying to embrace it more. For once I listened to my body and I didn’t do the obstical race on Sunday, I actually rested and today is the same. I could’ve dragged my ass to work but I knew I would’ve been useless and just felt worse by the end of the day. Better to knock my ego and allow my vulnerability, and come back stronger. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks lady! JUST starting to feel better now. Can hardly believe how long I was put out for–this flu really got me. Getting this sick was pretty eye opening–I am really not sure i could handle ever getting sick long term. I am no good at it, I really don’t think I have the strength that others do–being sick and unable to be physical is just so dreadful to me. I know you can relate!

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  8. Feel better soon! I hope you don’t have the nasty flu that’s been going around. I remember hearing in a talk on vulnerability how in relationships, we want others to show vulnerability but we don’t want to have to show it ourselves. So even though vulnerability is how we connect with each other, we all sit around and wait for the other to make the first move.

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    1. Girl! I DID have the nasty flu that has been going around. I’ve been seriously out of commission for over a week! Went on my first run in 9 days this morning–it was a bit brutal but every step was full of gratitude!
      It’s def easier to be vulnerable when someone else puts themselves out there first–it’s never easy to be first. I like to think that my best writing comes when I’m willing to be first.

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  9. Get well soon!
    I’m currently reading through papers about the narrativity of blogs, and one of the major things is that blog writing is, in effect, very egotistical, but we do a lot of things in our writing to make it seem less so (i.e. self-deprecatory comments, musing on the value of one’s writing and trying to emphasize that it’s not better than others, that so of thing). It’s an interesting line bloggers have to walk to be well-presented and still well-liked. You walk the line well… but you were also writing more about vulnerability. the ability to be vulnerable and at ease with vulnerability is a strength, I’d agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved reading this–so interesting. I think it also helps me take myself a bit less seriously–remembering that all of us are trying to walk this same line. It’s a unique medium–blogging. Not always sure where I am going with it. But maybe that is one of the best parts–that we don’t always need to know.
      Thanks for the well wishes also btw…finally on the mend here! x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh I hope you feel better soon!
    Opening yourself up is uncomfortable for sure. It’s interesting because the children I teach just seem to be starting to feel this. It’s so sad that at six, they’re already starting to not share in the fear of being ridiculed or laughed at:(

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