The Question of Mental Stability

Like approximately 99.99% of the people in the Northeastern United States, I have a wicked bad cold.

And like approximately 99.99% of Americans today, I am thinking about mental stability and the signs that a person is a little “off kilter.”

Oh, don’t worry. I’m not worried about that guy. I made up my mind about his mental state a long time ago.

Nope. Today I am fixated on the question of my own mental stability.

Did I mention that I’m sick?

I have a cold. A really bad cold. In fact, after two weeks of endless nose blowing, hacking, wheezing and general goop producing misery, I finally went to my doctor. I have bronchitis and a sinus infection. I came home with pills, cough syrup, inhalers and orders to “rest as much as possible.”

Now. Let me ask you this. What would a mentally stable person do in this situation? Probably take the medicine and go lie down, right?


That’s what I tried to do. I came home, made some tea, took my various potions and puffs, wrapped myself in a blankie and put my feet up. Where my mucus clotted brain proceeded to have this conversation with itself.

“You aren’t really that sick.”

“Yes, I am! I have bronchitis! I can feel the crunches and crackles every time I breathe!”

“Yeah, well, it’s not like you have pneumonia. Some people are really sick. You slacker.”

“But the doctor told me to rest. This isn’t just a cold, I have a real sickness. I have prescriptions…”

“Probably got sick because you don’t exercise enough.”

“Nuh, uh. I caught it from the kids…I’ve been wiping noses and snot sucking every day…..”

“Probably because you don’t eat healthy enough.”


“Chocolate eater.”

“I know, I’m sorry, I….”

“Alcohol drinker.”

“Well, yeah, but hot toddies…”

“Get up. Slacker.”

Could you keep yourself wrapped in a blankie after that?

Either could I.

So I decided to do a load of laundry. You know, real quick. Just do one load. Just to shut myself up. I grabbed an armful of dirty, sweaty sheets (from me FEVER the night before, just sayin’) and I wobbled my way down to the laundry. Tossed it in. Done.

Since I didn’t pass out or anything, I figured I should put away the dishes on the counter. Take that, snot brain.

At that point I was ready to hack up a lung so I wobbled back to the recliner and the blankie. With a fresh cup of ginger-lemon tea in hand.

And goopie brain started in again.

“See? I knew you weren’t really sick.”

“What?! Of course I am! You told me I was a slacker!”

“What, you like the word malingerer better? If you’re so sick, how come you’re able to do laundry and clean the kitchen, huh? Wimp.”


I put my aching head in my hands and tried to make Goop Brain go away, but he hung around. Big green slimy jerk.

It’s always like this when I’m not feeling well. Truthfully, I’m hardly ever sick. I haven’t had a fever before this in about 10 years. For a flabby middle aged grandmother, I’m actually pretty robust.

But on the rare occasions when I do get sick, it’s always the same internal argument. It’s always the same guilt game.

I was raised Catholic. What can I say? Guilt is kind of our thing.

I’ve spent the past four days alternately pitying myself for how awful I feel and berating myself for not getting the hell over it already.

What a loser.

So I put the question to you. Do mentally stable people argue themselves out of getting better? Do they yell at themselves that if they weren’t such lazy slackers they wouldn’t be sick in the first place?

I didn’t think so.


I look awful, right? See?



23 thoughts on “The Question of Mental Stability

  1. Tell “goopy brain” to STFU.
    You can’t take care of anything or anyone else, unless you take care of yourself, first.
    (Although, I have been guilty of such lapses in the past. Mainly of the variety of “If I don’t get this done, it won’t get done at all.”)

    Liked by 2 people

    • There’s always a reason to get up out of that chair…my son and his girlfriend were sick last week, but told me that they got over it in two days because “We stayed in bed and just slept for two days.” How did we lose that skill???

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Right there with ya on this one. The girls gave me something, or possibly we gave each other some form of mutated germs that they had already shared once or twice or 4 times with me and it has taken 2+ weeks to get better. And it’s still not completely gone! My non-Catholic upbringing had me telling myself much the same thing your Goop Brain has been saying, but I took it a step farther, I went to work! That decision I blame on the fact that we are truly short-handed and I was pretty much told when I began that if you can stand and you aren’t vomiting, running a fever, or experiencing explosive diarrhea then wear a mask and work. You’re now in the presence of “Employee of the Year” (self-appointed) in case you care to give me a pat on the back 😉
    Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d be laughing at you (OK, I admit it, I am laughing at you) but I totally get it! When I was still teaching, I went to work no matter what, because not going in was way harder than just doing it. Ah, retirement. The only downside is that I haven’t see the babies in days and I am in severe withdrawal….
      Go eat some soup!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Feel better and you do not look awful at all. Your eyes are just currently wearing the obligatory sinus infection haze! Agree with you other reader, tell the goop to stfu. I ushered in the new year with a cold…have chapped hands from how much I was washing them in an effort to avoid, but that didn’t work. So declared a work from home day on Jan 2 justifying it that I did not want to get my coworkers sick…instead of resting I sat at the computer and worked like a fiend for 9 hours, blowing my nose every 2 seconds. At least satisfied that I had my “personal space” to look and feel miserable!


    • Well, truthfully, I “awfulled” myself up a bit for that selfie, but I was going for the laughs. What is it that makes us incapable of just going to bed and getting better? My German friend had this same thing last winter, and stayed out of her high level bank job for three weeks on doctor’s orders. Full bed rest, full pay, no questions asked. Now why can’t we do that??

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Since you are retired, you can actually follow the doctor’s advice, right? You felt bad enough to go to him/her, but not bad enough to take his/her advice? I hope you are on the mend, but don’t take any chances. There is nothing to say that that bronchitis could not develop into pneumonia. The bronchial tubes do connect to the lungs, ya know. The laundry won’t rot before tomorrow or the next day. Not being Catholic, I have to admit I have never understood those horrible stain glass windows of mutilated and dying martyrs. Are you going for sainthood? These are the voices that I am training myself to listen to with, I am proud to say, some success although with some expected backsliding. Seriously, take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I need YOUR voice in my head! But after yet another day of coloring, drinking tea and being totally bored, I do think I’m well on the way to full health. I’m just a crybaby. Not used to being sick!


      • When I was teaching, I generally did not get sick while I was working. When vacations came…Wham! I could not afford to get sick during classes, so I didn’t. I saved it for my time off. Do you think my body was trying to tell me something? That commercial they have where a parent tells a toddler they are taking the day off because they are sick always resonates. I can’t remember what remedy they are pushing, but I know mothers don’t get time off, so suck it up! It’s a hard habit to break, but then I think of those mental health days I took as a kid (and my mother allowed me to take). A quilt, a cup of tea, and a good book are sometimes exactly what we need. Now here’s hoping that neither you or your two little tykes succumb to the sniffles any time soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww. Embrace the self-care. Goopy brain can take a hike. Doctors orders! (And are we all sick? 5 weeks now for this cold! Sooo done!) Hope you feel better soon 🙂 But don’t you do no more laundry until you stop wheezing. 😉


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