I Was Scared… I’m Better Now.

Day One

It’s 4 a.m. I wake feeling I am going to vomit. Keeping still, I inhale slowly, then exhale slowly. The feeling gradually gives way as a dull ache comes to life in my head. I close my eyes. If I’m going to be sick, so be it.

Being that we’re still bumbling around in the era of COVID-19, the disease or a variant is the first thing I think about. Who have I been close to? Where have I been? Thankfully, before I’m able to answer either question, I drift off.

A couple of hours pass. When I wake this time, my stomach isn’t rumbling so violently, but it’s still ungrateful. I write “ungrateful” because I’ve been feeding it the best, most scrumptious food, lately. Normally, my not-so-well developed palate favours bland foods. Have I’ve overdone it with variety?

The tummy queasies move south all of a sudden. I jog to the loo which brings a bit of relief, but I’m far away from feeling good. I feel fluish – wobbly and fuzzy-headed. I don’t have a thermometer but a headache like the one I have usually signals a fever. I crawl back into bed.

Sleep comes right away. When I open my eyes again it’s after 9 a.m. I want tea and toast which is a good sign except for my head. It’s still achy. I’m also still wobbly, still fuzzy-headed.

In the kitchen, I switch on the kettle to make my favourite Yorkshire tea and put a slice of sourdough bread into the toaster. I’m being careful, not because I’m feeling all mindful, but because I’m fuzzy-headed. In this state, I’m not confident playing with appliances that get things hot.

The peanut butter I add onto my toast makes for a happy smell.

Once the tea is sufficiently steeped, I pour it, then add a heaping teaspoon of ginger infused honey. More happy smells. I pick up the mug and plated food and wander back to my bedroom. I’m not sure I’ll eat or drink, but I do both. When I’m done, I pull the duvet up around me.

Sleep is the only thing I want right now. It’s what my body wants. It’s what my mind wants. Having something on my stomach, something light and akin to comfort food, helps. A couple more hours pass.

When I wake next, it is close to noon. No real change in the way I feel. At least, I’m no worse.

The day turns into night. I’m the same.

Despite sleeping so much during the day, I’m yawning by 10:30ish. A new practice for this night owl is turning off electronics and lights by 11 p.m. Staying up into the wee small hours has little benefit for me these days, so I’ve been scheduling sleep at an earlier hour. I’ve also added a bit of carb and protein right before bed. Just a nibble, nothing heavy or spicey. The snack is meant to keep the blood sugars balanced. It’s a nutritional tip I picked up from a friend and it seems to suit me.

Day Two

I wake at 5:10 a.m. I’m still dull but the worst is over. And I slept through. That’s a good thing.

There have been plenty of times in my life when my intuitive radar wasn’t keen, but I’ve a pretty remarkable constitution, all things considered. Still, with age comes a new set of obstacles and expectations. It’s like we’ve an automatic default setting programmed to blame everything on aging. We started the program when we were young, too. By the time we’re actually old, the suggestions about how we should be, will be, have to be, are stuck to us like barnacles making way too many of us give in and give up.

Over these last 36 hours, I’ve mainly felt defenceless against time’s passing. I became fearful that I would not fulfill a long-held dream.

I’ve not filled you in on the deets, but the ticket has been purchased. I’m on my way back to the UK in one month’s time, British passport in hand. Yesterday’s lurgy served as a cruel reminder. I cannot get ill, cannot let anything get in the way of landing, finally, as a citizen. It took thirty-eight years to get there and I’m not quite “there” yet!

Of course, I’m fine. As each minute passes and I regain more of my wellbeing, the fear subsides. I just can’t reverse time.

What would I tell my younger self if given the opportunity? Perhaps something like this:

Never, ever, give into doubt. Show up. Be enthusiastic. Keep only what serves you. Dispose of the rest, including people. Believe that what comes easy is talent. Build on it. See it as the gift, freely given, it is meant to be. When you need help, ask for it. Don’t worry so much about the way you look. At least, don’t obsess about it. Hang out with movers, shakers, and doers as their equal. Never let yourself be intimidated. Say “yes” often. Say “no” when you’re overwhelmed, overstretched, overused. Hold tight to your integrity in all things. Pay attention to your emotions. Study how they guide you, hand in hand with logic and discernment, to heal and become your healthiest, highest self. And always, no matter what, choose love.

And that is my wish for you, along with, be well everyone.

Until tomorrow.

17 thoughts on “I Was Scared… I’m Better Now.

  1. You’re going to the UK to live? I’m sorry to hear about your stomach bug, too – but moving countries (if that’s what you’re doing, rather than going on holiday) is much bigger and more exciting news!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Frances Sullivan

      I am! And yes, it’s exciting and I think I’m over the moon and terrified all at the same time. But, I’m not there yet and also scared to jinx things till I am there. Haha.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Alan

    Hey congratulations on getting your UK passport, I never imagined that would happen for you.
    How did it happen actually?
    Are you going back to Cornwall or Devon, I forget where you were.
    Anyway, good luck and all the best and I hope to keep reading your blogs.
    Till we meet again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frances Sullivan

      Hello stranger! I was just thinking about you the other day! And yeah, it took over 3 decades but I finally found all the links to my Scottish birth mother and was able to prove she was British when I was born and the caseworker happily approved me! It was kind of a surreal moment, for sure. And it’s North Devon. But hey, how are you? Gosh, it’s been forever! I assume you all weathered the virus safely. What are you doing, working at, these days? If you ever get back to Bristol, please look me up!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Frances Sullivan

      Thanks, Charlie. And please give a ring if/when you and Emma are back in jolly ole. Would love to collab on the coffee table book we talked about. 🙂 Cheers!


  3. What a beautifully written blog! Your impending move has to feel momentous and a little scary. But you’re ready and it will be fulfilling. Your nerves will threaten to undermine you, but in the end you’ll win because you’ve defeated the dragons and ascended the mountain. I can’t wait to hear your tales once you embark on your journey, but for now, this blog is a wonderful promise of a time when your talents and hidden self can run free.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Frances Sullivan

      Thank you, Susan. As always, your support and kind words mean so much. And yes, I’m somewhat terrified. It is what I’ve wanted and dreamed about for so long, true, but now that it’s here, I’ve doubts. It has come so late in life that energy and opportunities have waned. However, you are right – I am winning and this is just another chapter.


  4. Hey Frances!
    Glad you’re feeling better and congrats on the UK citizenship!!
    I also felt ill for a week (several things at once) and when I returned to health I really appreciated it! I’m also taking a flight across the Atlantic in Sept – to Ireland – but just for a visit (for now!).
    Good advice at the end of your post 🙂
    Take care,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frances Sullivan

      Ooh, safe travels, James. Lots of hoops to jump through, yes? Or maybe you don’t have as many coming from the US. I’ve got to test before I leave then test again two days after I arrive, but so be it. As for the sick bit, I’ve heard similar from a lot of people – being down for about a week out of the blue. And yeah, I’m appreciative, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, a doctor friend told me that our immune systems haven’t been challenged so much for a year (because of masks and sanitizing) so we are hit harder by regular colds and bugs.
        The only hoop for getting into Ireland is to upload my vaccine card, but for the return I’ll need a test. Hoping that things won’t be too locked down over there…
        Have you lived in Devon before?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Frances Sullivan

        I have lived in Devon before – spent a lot of time there. In fact, I’d just been “asked to leave” when I met you in Dublin. Obviously, I didn’t have citizenship then but was working on it. At least now I won’t have that ‘issue’ hanging over me. 🙂 And I like your doc friend’s hypothesis but I can’t help but wonder if our immune systems are really that fragile? I suppose there are variables and contributing factors and such.

        Liked by 1 person

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