i’ve been sick for over a week.
It started with an itch in the heart of my chest two Thursday’s ago. That night it moved into a 103 fever that stayed with me for two days. The fever morphed into sweat and chills, major phlegm congestion, a fever again, and then finally this cough that i can’t seem to shake.
But i had plans!! Didn’t life know that?! i had been looking forward to USofA Diva, MI, and Classic week for months and i was bound and determined to will myself well. By god, i’m a force of fucking nature. i don’t get sick. And i’m definitely not going to let myself get sick now.
But i did. And i got sick in a way that i haven’t been in years.
When i was around 9 years old, i was hospitalized the first and only time because of my fevers. My temperature would skyrocket in an instant — going from 98 to 104 in lightening speed. My body would go into seizures and on more than one occasion my parents thought i was going to die. Cat scans, brain scans, and all the other testing came back normal. i was just a kid who sometimes dangerously overheats — big time.
The last time i had a fever i was alone in college and thought i was going to die. My friend Ally took care of me and introduced me to TheraFlu. i got better.
That was over 10 years ago.
i’ve been sick since then, but never with a fever. Fevers are my fear and breaking point — i get super scared when i get one because i know what can happen to me if i don’t get better. So this past week, i was forced to do something i’ve never had to do in my 39 years of being alive and 34 years performing: cancel a gig.
Having to admit defeat to my humanity and mortality was a very hard thing for me to do. And seeing all the pictures of the fun and frivolity i was missing out on Facebook, made me feel even worse. And i slipped into a deep funk and depression.
At the height of everything: my sickness, my fomo (fear of missing out), and my body completely breaking down on me (i started my period right when i was the sickest), i called my parents crying.
JUST LET ME DIE ALREADY!!
After we hung up, my dad sent me this text.
And while it didn’t change how horrible i felt or make the fever go down, it did change everything.
i was in my pupa stage. i have been for a while. And when i really looked closely at my life the past few months i realized that i brought this sickness on myself.
i had been working myself literally to death, running myself ragged around the clock.
i wasn’t eating my first meal until 8 hours after i had woken up and even then it was just a quick and light snack.
i wasn’t meditating, exercising, or doing yoga — all the things that kept me mentally alert and healthy.
i stayed up way too late working, slept restlessly, and got up super early and did it all again.
And my body, my health simply just broke down.
i broke down.
My partner took very good care of me while i was down and out. She bought me flowers, fed me, and kept me full of fluids and meds.
But her taking care of me isn’t enough.
i have to take better care of myself too.
So Sunday morning, i woke up and made a list of all the things that i was no longer going to do. And all the things that i felt brought on my sickness went on the list.
And today is the first day i’m completely out of the cocoon.
It’s going well . . . i think. i’m trying not to push myself. And i’m trying to fight the urge to do everything i said i wasn’t going to do.
Because the one thing i need more than time, a book agent, or Lambda Literary award to make my 2017 dreams come true is me — a healthy me.
And putting myself and my health ahead of my desires and dreams isn’t something i’m used to doing — but it’s something i know now i have to do.
Here’s to putting ourselves and our health first — always!