I’ve been sick for the last couple of days. I hate being sick. I don’t get around to do half the things I want to do on a regular basis – so lying in bed all day doesn’t really improve things. Thankfully, I’m slowly starting to feel better. I’m not lying in bed anymore, I sit on an actual chair as I’m typing this which feels pretty grand. I feel relatively grand in general – compared to my general state of being over the last week.
Essentially, I spent the last days angry. I’m not an angry person. I try to think my glass is half-full unless there’s some gross substance in it – then, of course, I prefer to think it’s half-empty. Somehow, though, I just couldn’t help it. I felt frustrated and angry. Half-angry at the world because it made me turn sick in the first place (and that really wasn’t necessary now, was it?) and half-angry at myself because my reluctance to go see a doctor made me stay sick – way longer than necessary. On top of that, I was also angry with the world because I didn’t feel taken care of very well. In fact, I didn’t feel taken care of at all.
Here’s why: I usually spend a fair amount of time listening to friends’ problems and I do so quite happily. Yet. Sometimes, of course, I’d like them to listen to me in return. We all carry around our own little package that we need to unload every once in a while. Now, often, my friends don’t realize when I need to unload some weight. Not because they’re tiny evil creatures (I don’t befriend Gremlins or the like – to my knowledge). It’s really not their fault.
The real problem: I simply don’t know how to switch from listening-mode to talking-mode. So I just sit there – nodding, smiling, mhm-ing, understanding – while feeling mildly (or awfully) miserable. And then in the end, I end up feeling angry with myself and that doesn’t really help to boost my spirits either.
Bottom line: I wasn’t at the top of my game. Not even near the middle of it; I was located more at the bottom of things (needless to say, my grumpy mood didn’t make my sickness go away any quicker either).
Now, I have a tendency to wallow in memories and I have no objections to wallow in mud occasionally (hey, it’s supposed to be good for the skin) but I really don’t like to wallow in self-pity. So I did two things: One, I went to the doctor after all and – magically – he found out what was wrong with me and also told me what to do about it. Two, I went to visit a friend. A very good friend that I don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like to. I had planned to visit her anyways because, as I said, I hardly get to see her (she studies almost on the opposite side of the country) and I had been feeling like I needed to see her for a while. But now, I really needed to see her. And I also really needed to get away from all the things that were bothering me at home.
Once the decision was made, somehow, things fell into place quite nicely. I spent a couple of days with my friend – I did some listening, but I also talked. A lot. She told me she’s often noticed how I’m very good when it comes to letting others talk, yet not so much when it comes to speaking up myself. I like to be a good listener, still. I want my friends to feel like they can come to me. However, it’s important to keep some sort of balance. It’s no use trying to shoulder other people’s weight when you don’t even know how to carry your own. It’s no use listening to a friend when you’re being frustrated and angry yourself. Because you don’t really listen. You can’t.
So she made me talk. She let me unload. All of a sudden, I wasn’t all that angry anymore. I felt like I should kiss and make up with the world. My glass is half-full again. And I like to think it’s not just because I’m on antibiotics right now.
As Olin & the Moon say, I’m a friend of feeling good right now…