Learning to Take My Medicine

I’ve been sick all week. ALL week. I went to a writing retreat this past weekend and apparently, a good number of people returned with the plague.

I’m not good at being sick. I’m not one of those people who whines and moans and acts like they’re on their deathbed, but I am someone who heavily denies being sick until it’s blatantly obvious that I’m hacking up a lung, choking on the unmentionable “stuff” that’s coating my throat, and stumbling around the house with a body that feels more like a concrete block.

This winter, I’ve really had to change my preferred method of operating. Because it hasn’t just been this week in my house. Some illness or another has been infecting us pretty much all winter, cycling from Big Sister to Little Sister to Daddy to Mommy and then back around again. It’s like the worst game of Tag imaginable, where everyone gets a turn to be “It” and the game never ends.

Also, the game involves feeling like crap and watching your loved ones feel like crap.

Boy, do I love winter.


This week was a bit worse than “normal,” though, so my husband went out and bought a massive bottle of Mucinex for us to share. (Because you know the old saying: “The couple that chugs medicine together, stays together.”) And as I tipped that capful of blue liquid into my mouth, I remembered something:

I used to be afraid of taking cough medicine. I used to jump on the computer and look up stuff like “calories in cough drops.” I used to lace up my sneakers and go for a run, even when my head was pounding and my body begged me to crawl back into bed.

I used to see rest as a sin and denial as a virtue. I used to deny myself medicine on the off chance that it would make me “fat” and trust my body to make itself better, all while still pounding it into the ground.

I trusted it (or “said” I trusted it, because really I didn’t trust it in the slightest), but I didn’t do anything to prove that it could trust me.

I forced my body into an unnatural shape and lived a life of constant motion. I said no to cough medicine like it was chocolate cake. I denied it all the deliciousness that life has to offer (both in food and in experience).

I’ve learned over the years that my body is meant for deliciousness. It was meant for growth, in so many different ways.

So this week, I took my medicine.

And even though I’m still sniffling and occasionally hacking, I feel better.

Imagine that.

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