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Germs And Apathy….

“Women are born with enough patience to stay and enough strength to move on. Don’t take her for granted, because you will regret it.” —Anonymous

I saw that quote on someone’s FB page today and liked it. Sometimes, the simplest things in life are the most important lessons to keep in mind.

Anyhow, back to Germs And Apathy. Wouldn’t that be a really cool name for a band?

If there’s anything that tops the list of “Stuff That I Hate”, it’s being sick. I’m not talking about the dramatic kind of illness that took over my life this past year, or some of the really serious ailments that some people suffer through on a daily basis. I’m talking about the kind of being sick where you feel like you want to curl up in a ball and die, but everyone says “You’re not really that sick”, so you’re supposed to suck it up and go about your day in a fairly normal fashion.

The interesting thing about being sick is that it enhances the level of apathy hormone in my body. If you know me at all, you know I’m not a laid-back person at all. I stress out over everything from work deadlines to how I’m getting along with friends to worrying about things I don’t want to do that are going to happen two months from now. If there’s a feeling that I can stress out about or blow out of proportion or make the most important thing in my universe that day, I will do it. It’s not even a conscious choice. It’s just happens. Any kind of bad news or tension in my life completely throws me for such a loop that I find it impossible to just “chill”. I am not, despite my collection of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Bob Marley, and John Mayer, a “Zen” kind of girl.

I’ve tried a lot of things in my life to stop caring about everything in the world to the level that it becomes a national emergency, and to put some sort of screen over the intensity of my feelings so that everything is a little duller, a little less dramatic. Drinking is fun, but actually typically makes me more high-energy than normal, and amplifies whatever mood I’m in that day. Giving up caffeine had little effect. I got kicked out of yoga class for laughing at the obviously Freudian connotations of the teacher’s instructions. Tea is only good when it’s winter. The anti-anxiety medication I’m on isn’t a high enough dose to accomplish mellow (although I do have to say that taking doctor-prescribed Klonopin was the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like a totally chilled out, mellow person. It was kind of like having an out-of-body experience. Of course, they took me off of that right away because the “mellow” was achieved through being stoned off my ass.)

I’ve kind of had to accept that, by nature, I am not laid-back. Even on vacation, part of me can’t sit still for too long before I start thinking “Where am I going next?”

Yet, being sick turns apathy into overdrive. I am hugely behind on work (I let my boss know that this was because I was sick), and if I tried a little harder to get stuff done, I could improve that. But I’m really tired, so I haven’t done that yet. I started thinking about a situation earlier in the week that caused me emotional distress, and it seemed I no longer have any emotional distress response to something that affected me greatly. I think about my plans for the weekend, and am largely like, “Yeah, whatever. I just want to stay in bed.” I’m not really too concerned about anyone or anything today, and really just want to lay on the bed and watch Law & Order re-runs.

It occurs to me that some people are like this all the time, that it doesn’t take being overrun by bacteria to not take life too seriously, to just know that stuff will work itself out, the people who like you will be in your life no matter what, and if you really don’t want to do things, you don’t have to make yourself miserable out of obligation. Part of me is kind of jealous. I’d like to be that kind of person, maybe just for a week or two, see how much easier life is.

Of course, I would not like to have to be sick to accomplish it.

I don’t actually know what’s wrong with me, other than I have a fever, am very tired, apathetic about most everything, and have a head and chest full of ick. Last time I remember feeling this “mellow”, it turned out my roommate and I had both gotten bronchitis, and I went to the Northeast and partied anyway. (martinis apparently do not kill bronchitis.) I might have bronchitis. I might have a really nasty cold. I might have just gotten sick because my body objected to me planning a trip home to see my family and launched a pre-emptive strike against that idea.

I’m not too worried about it, mostly because I’m not too worried about anything. If I’m still sick tomorrow, I’ll fit in awesomely on 4/20.

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