25 May 2016
I got sick last night. It kept me up late, so I slept in and had to call into work half a day, partly to get rest I needed but also because of residual sickness.
I'm still not completely well. The toxins in my body haven't all been evacuated. I just got in and I'm quiet, reclusive, sluggish, reluctant. Coworkers will notice and hopefully give me a wide berth. They won't ask what happened; they know only I was ill, and that's enough for them.
And that's enough for me. Except they probably think I ate something bad and spent half the night on the toilet shitting my guts out, emptying my ravaged bowels to exhaustion, enduring cramps or sharp pains or some other agony. Somehow, it's acceptable to call in sick and be given extra space when that happens to you. When that happens to your body.
But that isn't what happened. My sickness was emotional. Replace every physical symptom of the story above and the rest of it is completely accurate. I was goaded into an emotional place I haven't been in many months. I was baited into reacting to a taunt, and I bit hard. I didn't just swallow the bait, I chewed all the way up the line.
In my mind, I wasn't lashing out. Instead, I was refusing to sit idly by--again--while someone who was hurt had a public tantrum and implicated me as the bad guy. I was just done not responding; I was standing up for myself. I still feel like that was the right attitude. Clearly, however, I need to work on my execution.
We made a little mess, I'll tell you that. And I paid a price that has already included half a day's productivity at work, and will probably also cost me three late assignments. There's a lot of work to do and the stress of it all only adds to the pile of how I feel. When I stand in this place, my perspective changes, and suddenly standing up for myself 12 hours ago seems like the most foolish thing I could have done.
The worst part of all this is it's 100% my fault. What happened to me, I mean. I am explicitly separating myself from the actions of the taunters; they are separate human beings and may, for all I know, be dealing with their own consequences today. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that I saw a situation created by other people, went to my emotional medicine cabinet, picked something super potent and super toxic, and swallowed it whole without reflection.
I keep a well-stocked emotional medicine cabinet, by the way. I'm always prepared to self-medicate when certain kinds of stress hit. This is part of my addiction and it must be seen to.
So here we are: I'm half a day behind in my work, I'll be a whole day behind with my class, and emotionally I am still fighting the battle. Another field of conflict awaits me about 7 hours from now. By then, my best hope is to be too exhausted from trying to catch up in the ways I know how to get more involved with or behind in the ways I don't.