The past week has been a bit weird. I seem to have fallen off the wagon. At the beginning of the year I had plans to keep up with my fitness, drink plenty of water, keep up with my hobbies and generally not spend my money on crap. I had been doing fairly well up until last week – working out most evenings, making sure the housework got done, and finding time to write and practice my ukulele. Then it all went to shit. I’m not entirely sure what to call it – it could have been a wobble, it could have been a genuine illness, but whatever it was, it caused me to grind to a holt. The most irritating thing is that I can’t help feeling guilty and as though I’ve let myself down. There is literally no one else who I had made these promises to other than myself, but the amount of guilt I feel is so great that you’d think I’ve let down every single one of my friends and family. So what’s actually happened?
It all started last weekend. I had battled through the tail end of the previous week with extreme dizziness and just a general feeling of tiredness, and I was relieved when Friday finally came around. It had been a tough week, with certain people causing me more stress than necessary and the fact that we’d had a major cock-up with our house plans. But, on the other hand, Valentine’s Day marked 10 years since my husband and I got together, so it wasn’t all bad. After a lovely date night at one of our favourite restaurants after work, I thought I was finally rid of the symptoms that I was putting down as anxiety and stress. But come Saturday, I still felt like crap.
I managed to get up and venture out to visit my Mum, but once I got home I started to feel rough again. Despite this, I managed to force myself to get my face on and go to the pub with our friends, which we’d organised earlier in the week. I thought I was doing okay until a few hours in when the nausea and huge waves of anxiety kicked back in. It unfortunately got so bad that we ended up leaving at half ten because I felt so bad. All I wanted was to go home and sleep in my own bed, but because we had planned for a big night, we had arranged to stay at my Mother-in-Law’s. Despite my protests and pleading to drive his BMW home because I’d only had one drink, we walked the 45 minutes back to my MIL’s. I felt so much better once we got into bed, and hoped that a good night’s sleep would sort me out. It kind of did, as most of Sunday, I felt much better.
But as with anxiety, there’s always that sense of false hope. Things started getting bad again around the time we were due to go back to my MIL’s for dinner. I felt sick, I felt tired, and I genuinely just felt like I could sleep for a month. At the time I couldn’t think of anything worse than trying to force down a meal, so I bailed on the idea and just spent the evening on the sofa catching up on Dancing on Ice. I went to bed feeling miserable and just wanting to start feeling normal again.
Monday morning, I appeared to have got my wish. I got up for work, and despite feeling a little sleepy, I felt okay. I managed to eat breakfast and I got through the whole morning without any wobbles. I finally felt as though I was back to normal after whatever thing this was. So, as per our usual Monday tradition, my husband and I met up for lunch. I hadn’t eaten properly since Saturday night so I was starving, and I managed to polish off an entire meal with no problems. I was fine.
Or so I thought. Literally within minutes of leaving the restaurant, I started feeling sick. No biggie, as 9/10 times this happens if I eat a big meal. I got myself a chewing gum and hoped that would fix it. Like fuck it would. Within minutes I was in a cold sweat and desperate to find a loo. Think that scene in Bridesmaids, just without the wedding dresses. I managed to compose myself and got through the next few hours of work thanks to an incredibly large helping of mints and just generally trying to keep my mind on the task. But when my colleagues picked up on the fact that I generally looked like shit, I had to give in and admit defeat.
Had I had my worst nightmare? Had I caught a stomach bug? Cue the most nerve wracking car journey of my life. I spent the rest of the day on the sofa feeling awful and just wanting to sleep, in between watching episodes of Drake & Josh on Amazon Prime. Despite feeling better by the evening, I took Tuesday off just to make sure that I could eat without any consequences.
Come Wednesday, I was feeling much better and went back to work. Aside from the severe anxiety that the events of Monday would happen again. Thankfully, they did not. I managed to get through the rest of the week unscathed, and by the weekend I was feeling back to normal. Aside from one thing. That bloody guilt.
What did I even feel guilty about? Well, for a start, I felt guilty about taking a day off work, despite the fact it was probably a good call. I felt guilty about the fact that by this point I hadn’t worked out in over a week – not because I couldn’t be bothered, but because I physically didn’t have the energy. I felt guilty because I hadn’t done any housework, and I felt guilty that I hadn’t kept up with my water goals (seriously). When you feel sick, the last thing you want to drink is water. Is that weird? I much prefer cold and fizzy when I feel like crap. Water can sod off.
This week I’m pretty much back to normal, but I still have that immense feeling of guilt hanging over me, and I have no idea why. I’m back to eating normally, drinking plenty of water, and doing my housework. I even managed a workout last night given though it goddamn nearly killed me. So why do I still feel bad for having a week off from my routine? I still don’t know why I felt so poorly all week, but most people I’ve spoken to seem to think it was stress related, so in that respect, it was probably a good idea to do nothing.
Maybe that’s the lesson I should take from this. That perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, and that it’s okay to come home from work and do nothing once in a while. I find it hard to switch off and stop worrying about things I need to do most of the time, so it’s usually just easier to do them then and there. Although, as sad as it sounds, I do enjoy organising and planning things, so perhaps I should maybe work on scheduling in some down time. Even if it’s just setting aside half an hour to watch Drake & Josh…