the excuse of ill-health

Something interesting happened today; following the DJ Clubfit session I went to yesterday, my body started reacting in a familiar way some time after lunch. I started sneezing, feeling warm and sweaty and noticed a dry irritable throat.

Combined with the muscle and joint aches from the exercise, it could easily have been diagnosed as the early stages of a mild flu.

it isn’t flu – not even man flu

It was a curious experience, witnessing this reaction almost as though I was observing myself in a detached manner. I was able to recognise something that I hadn’t before.

In the past it has been increasingly common for me to become ill shortly after doing any heavy work (in the garden for example). It’s also happened when I’ve pulled a couple of all-nighters or had a “big night out”. The pattern is fairly consistent, within 24 hours I feel the aches, start sneezing, feel warm & sweaty, notice a dry irritable throat and conclude that I am going down with a cold.

The “cold” then arrives, often as an intense 24-48 hours where I feel wiped out. Sometimes spending a whole day sleeping on and off.

calling dr google

It’s happened so often that I have spent a lot of time diagnosing the issue online. A trip to the GP at one stage proved inconclusive, he was talking in terms of a possible re-occurence of Glandular Fever yet the blood test came up blank.

So I have come up with a number of options for this “recurring illness” – Glandular Fever, yuppie flu, chronic fatigue, even a thyroid disorder of some sort. The thing is, all this self-diagnos actually provided negative reinforcement. I continued to be ill on a regular basis, usually following a similar pattern and the physical symptoms were VERY real. I WAS literally wiped out on some occasions.

the truth revelaed

So today I have been put in the very fortunate position of being able to finally recognise what is going on. It is, quite simply, my system reacting to being put under a little more stress than usual. It may even be a reaction designed to restore things back to “normal” – i.e. completely sedentary.

I was able to recognise this because my mind is currently working a little differently. I’m making the effort to be consciously aware of thoughts, reactions, feelings, emotions even, and to actively manage those things. It was this open and scientific perspective that allowed me to identify the familiar reaction, and to interpret it correctly for change.

a great outcome

So, armed with this new perspective I’ve basically ignored the phantom “cold” all afternoon and the symptoms are just a pale shadow of their former selves. Because my mind isn’t focusing on the symptoms, and mulling over the diseases that may be the root cause, I haven’t breathed life into the “illness”. I haven’t allowed my mind to make it real.

So today I learned a few things; first I got the explanation I’d been seeking for a couple of years (and it was nothing like the possible explanations I thought I had), secondly I learned to recognise the signs of a reaction in my own body (I learned to “listen” to it), thirdly I had identified an old excuse that had always provided a convenient way out.

That “fire exit” is now blocked…

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