I scoffed when my therapist kept telling me, “It’s only a matter of time.” She had seen pretty much all her clients and family members, regardless of vaccination status, come down with COVID at some point over the past few years. But I could not even remember the last time I’d been truly sick, and having received all three shots plus being a staunch homebody who typically only leaves the house to go on nature hikes, I was confident in my immunity.
Maybe that’s why I felt so totally knocked on my ass this past week, when the virus finally did invade our house. We got exposed sometime around July 4; my husband hit the skids last weekend, and I followed a couple days behind.
I’ve known plenty of people who tested positive but escaped the symptoms; unfortunately, Hubby and I were not so lucky. In fact, I got slammed with COVID — fever, chills, heavy congestion, fatigue, the whole shebang — on the 21st day of my cycle, compounding the abject insanity/misery of PMS during perimenopause. As a result, I spent nearly all of Wednesday through Friday alternately coughing, crying — and, with help from NyQuil, napping — in bed.
Well, I did get up before dawn each day to attempt some yoga (I got winded after like 10 minutes) and a quick walk through the park when it was still deserted (there was nothing quick about it). I had to stop several times along the way to catch my breath, and when I finally reached the top of the big hill, feeling like a picked-over corpse, I found myself going all “Old Lady Yells at Cloud,” venting the frustration I always feel whenever my body doesn’t live up to my brain’s high (unrealistic?) expectations…which is happening more frequently as I move into my mid-40s.
🗣 ↗️☁️: For f*ck’s sake, Universe, WHY does middle age have to be so f*cking hard?!?
Yikes! Is COVID psychosis a thing? Because this shit is a bit extreme, even for me. I hope my therapist gained some insight in dealing with this special brand of madness, through all her other infected clients…
Intellectually, of course, I realize that I’m fortunate. My symptoms are akin to having the flu, and it’s not a big hardship to have to slow down for a few days and let the virus run its course.
Intellectually, I realize that it’s only temporary, this perfect storm of being simultaneously on the rag and under the weather while starting to go through “The Big Change” at 44 years old. But if you’ve experienced this bizarre stage of aging, which I imagine is what it might feel like to have aliens invade your body, you know that rationality is no match for raging hormones, depleted energy and a stalled metabolism. If you’re also in recovery, you know that caffeine, sugar and salty snacks can seem like woefully mild self-medicating mechanisms in your weaker moments.
I’ve found that shouting into the void (wallowing in self-pity?) can help a little, though. See: this, or countless other posts on my website. 😉
OK, so I’m sick and struggling right now, but I know I’ll eventually return to “normal” — and when I do, I will definitely be more careful about cleanliness and person-to-person contact. I also know that getting older is f*cked up, but it isn’t the end of the world, and adjusting to change without losing my shit is probably the most important recovery skill I’m going to have to master.
While there’s no shortcut to getting there, and nothing is a cure-all for life’s inevitable ailments, as I said earlier, stream-of-consciousness blog posts (unhinged rants?) are a pretty effective coping tool. So are virtual therapy sessions. Today, I’m extremely thankful I have both. 🙏🏻
Until next week, stay healthy and safe, my friends!