This virus is kicking my booty, but I’m crawling to recovery. A couple of healthy young people I know got over the same thing in about a third of the time it’s taking with me. This reminds me of various visits to doctors over my adult (married) lifetime. I remember the first time when I got some kind of rash after my first baby was born. The doctor was relatively unconcerned about it, but he asked, “Do you have a lot of stress in your life?”
The first time I was asked that question, I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know how to answer. I thought… doesn’t everyone? Did I? Was it something unusual? Over the next few decades, I continued to hear doctors ask that question again. One of them casually commented about my seeming to have no immune system, and then asked the stress question. Finally, a dentist asked me if I drank a lot of soda pop. No, I don’t drink it at all ever. Do I eat a lot of candy? No, I rarely eat sugar in any form. The dentist stared at me, and then asked, “Do you have a lot of stress in your life?”
My passive aggressive husband is trying really hard to be nice while I’m sick. But maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to relax. Because I know he’s trying. It’s something he has to work at. He has to think about it, then work at it. I’m finding it very difficult to relax deeply on the inside. It’s hard to explain, but I can see or sense flickerings of his resentments or his self-pity, and then his resultant inner battle to not give in to it. I’ve told him before to at least try to ‘fake it till you make it’ when it comes to his behaviors. I see him trying so hard. Shouldn’t that make me much happier? It doesn’t.
It’s that despite his efforts and deeds, I still can’t feel or sense any innate pity or compassion from him, the kind of caring that springs from affective empathy. He’s using cognitive empathy and doing the good deeds, in fact he’s almost like a super dad this last week, but I don’t feel deeply cared about. I think he feels good about trying harder. He even said he loved me last night before we fell asleep, instead of the typical empty silence. Maybe it’s all in my dysfunctional head. Don’t get me wrong, it’s much easier to be sick when the dishes are getting done and towels are being washed by someone other than me. I appreciate each and every helpful thing he does, and thank him for it. Then I get a sweater or blanket and visualize myself getting well and joining a gym.