Sick Girl

Posted on September 17, 2012


Sick sick sick. Ugh. So sick that I couldn’t muster the strength to write the Friday post, which induced shame for not fulfilling my commitments. Which incited guilt about “taking it easy” and “not pushing too hard,” which inspired exhaustion and led me to sleeping on the couch all day.

Being a human is very difficult when you convince yourself you are capable of super human strength. Setting myself up for failure.

I don’t think it’s self-handicapping. I don’t think I set myself up to fail like I just said I did. In fact, I feel like I should erase that. But I never erase anything from here, save the occasional poisonous comment from x-fans/hate-mongers. I don’t want to think about them right now.

We’ve been learning in my social psychology class about independent people and dependent people. Remove the Americanized connotations, the juxtaposition of the two types of people is interesting because it reveals more about my tendency to become sick than I thought a social psych class would provide. For independent person, with high levels of self-complexity (i.e. multiple selves with multiple people and little overlap of the differing selves, but not Dissociative Identity Disorder), stress does not predict sickness. However, for an individual such as myself, with low levels of self-complexity (I am the same self with everyone and thus have lots of overlapping selves), stress predicts sickness. It’s hypothesized that the independent person can better compartmentalize the stress and it doesn’t infect every area of her life. Compartmentalization, for me, is a destructive tool that I use to disconnect from feelings, people, life, and because I’ve yet to understand a healthy way to compartmentalize an emotion (such as stress), the first two weeks of (recovery work plus) school, work, internship, relationship, family, life, blahblahblah, has rendered me a congested, hurting, wheezing, sniveling, exhausted mess.

Which is just fine.

In fact, it happens once a year, usually Fall Semester, when I try to take on “all this shit,” and don’t account for the fact that last year, when I tried to take on “all this shit,” the exact same thing happened. Doing the same thing and expecting different results. One day I’ll learn. Maybe.

Needless to say, I am yet again confronted with my own humanity and in awe of the body’s capacity to crumble and rebuild. Yesterday, I was fairly certain that I would feel this way forever, which social psychology has taught me is due to affective forecasting, or our tendency to overestimate the duration and intensity of future emotions/feelings. Today, gross and joyful, the mucus is coming and I feel like Jennie Revere is running through my body and alerting all the necessary organs to prepare for giant ugly green things to come spewing forth from the appropriate places.

Yuck. Social Psychology - You, but definitely not me.

Another incredible social psychological phenomena I’ve been confronted with in vivo, is immune neglect, our tendency to underestimate the incredible capacity for our psychological immune system to recover. Though my current awe is in regard to my physiological/biological immune system’s ability to recover, the awe-someness and resiliency of the human being never ceases to humble.

Anyway, my apologies for those of you who came here on Friday looking for an updated post. I need to start planning ahead for these weekly updates, and for my own humanity, which will occasionally experience a weeklong round of yuck.

Go easy out there this week folks, something nasty is going around.