I started my week-end watching planes gliding across the grey dawn skies. They hid for a second behind the bouquet of flowers yesterday’s nurse placed for me in a plastic pot on the windowsill, and then emerged dashing towards the BT Tower and probably beyond – some going and some arriving. My hospital room had an amazing view and during that quiet morning when my fever had subdued and my body started to show visible signs of recovery, I felt incredibly happy. I may have been in a hospital looking ghastly with tubes hanging out of my arm, but I felt so incredibly happy, grateful and peaceful.
In fact, during the ordeal of my illness I’ve been calm and brave and never once lost my sense of humour. Not even when I was throwing up with my head in the toilet while the man I’ve only met a bit over a month ago was holding my hair and handing me a glass of water. ‘Not quite as romantic as I hoped but that would do’ I said when I was done emptying all the contents of my stomach. He laughed.
There was something about this illness that wasn’t quite wrong. I mean, it was awful to have extreme fever, nausea, headache and stomach ache for a week but in a way it was a welcome storm. This illness represented the short-circuit to my system which I probably needed badly. The first week after quitting my job, I had already plans to launch straight into action. I had no time to waste, I had to get things rolling or else… Else what? I’ve been ill for a week and the world didn’t collapse. If anything, I feel peaceful and happy.
‘Are you too afraid to relax?’ asked Mastin Kipp in The Daily Love newsletter. He admitted that after a month spent in Bali he began to truly relax and that really scared him. ‘I immediately realized that I was scared to relax. I dug a little deeper and became aware that I felt that if I relaxed or “let my guard down” something “bad” would happen’ he said.
That sounds crazy I know, but when I think back at my time in Bali, I was going through the same craziness. I’ve been happy enough during the hustle and bustle of the Festival but when it came to relaxing I wasn’t capable to let go. I felt guilty about not writing, not researching, not reading or whatever else, instead of putting my feet up and relax on the beach. I came home two weeks later pretty much in the same state as I left. Happier that I didn’t have to stay in my job anymore, but anxious to get all my projects going without further delay.
My illness wasn’t very serious. It was a urinary infection provoked by the E.Coli bacteria, but it was violent enough to take me out. During my illness I kept thinking ‘This must be happening FOR me. But I don’t understand it yet, what is the benefit of my high fever, nausea, uncomfortable sleep, shivers and delirium?’ It wasn’t until I was sipping on my hospital cup of tea, watching peaceful planes gliding across the London skies that it became obvious. My body wanted to relax and it had to take me out in the process. Because I was too stubborn to listen to it…
“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” Elbert Hubbard