Sick in the head!
My entire family got sick on New Year’s Day. At least, that’s when it became obvious. I didn’t think much of it, just figured we all had a cold. The holidays are always exhausting, you know? So I gave it a couple days. Then I gave it a couple more. Suddenly it’s MLK Day and we’re all still sniffing. I drag the entire family to the doctor and what do you know? I have ear and sinus infections, and strep throat. My toddler, whose only symptom was a runny nose, also has strep. My husband has flippin’ pneumonia. A grown man. Who is not eligible for the early bird special. Has PNEUMONIA. IN THE YEAR 2011.
Many antibiotics were prescribed.
I took my meds like a good little monkey. Then, something strange happened.
By the third day I still had all my ucky physical symptoms, but mentally I felt like a whole new person. I felt rested. Hell, I felt cheerful. And I realized I had not felt good-morning no-reason cheerful in a really long time.
Suddenly, I had the willpower to sit down and scrape through some tough edits on a short story I’ve been meaning to shop. Suddenly, I had the energy to write. No blocks. I felt so different.
After spending some time wondering whether antibiotics treat depression (answer: no), I realized I had been expecting my mind to function at 100% when my body was at 50%. And that’s just silly. My brain is an organ inside my body, after all…
…and it works in tandem with my immune system. Of course the ability to think and to create are going to be drastically effected by a bodily infection.
Writer’s block arises from fear, stress, and depression. So does physical illness. So my dear writing friends, if you’ve been feeling a little run-down during this long cold winter, for the love of little green apples get your heinie to the clinic, even if it’s just a runny nose and general sense of ennui. True, you might just need a little more shut eye and exercise, but you might have something deeper going on.