Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So What is My Civic Duty When Sick, Anyway?

Woman pretending to
contemplate mask.
Hello Friends:

So okay, after my last post I kinda feel like the universe is having a bit of a joke with me.  I am now the sicky.  And I'm back on the train.  Yep.  No, I'm not wearing a mask, but I swear I know how to use a tissue, and I also use handiwipes constantly.  Still, I would not be offended at all if you chose to sit next to someone else.

In fact, I sort of wish the woman who would not get off her cell phone had done just that, instead of smiling, sitting next to me in the quiet car, and then proceeding to chatter away.

Anyway, in my last post I was talking about how everyone on the train was sick but me, and now there is some turn around for that.  I am sick, and feeling guilty that I am out in the world.  But for the moment, it seems to be a mild cold, and I can't justify not getting on the train and getting back home, as scheduled.  Nobody wants to sit around hundreds of miles from home in a different city.  That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

So the ride is this strange combination of good and bad.  On one hand, I don't feel that same fear of all the other sick passengers, because, well, now I am one of them.  I caught a bug and now it is sort of like there is nothing to fear.  But on the other hand, I'm feeling guilty that I'm here at all, and not in fact wearing a mask.  I guarantee I'm not coughing or sneezing all over, really, but is that an excuse?

This obsessive thinking about this ... well, I know it is just another aspect of the OCD and anxiety disorders.  I ended last week saying I needed to learn to be more compassionate.  I know I need to learn that compassion for myself.  It seems to be the hardest person to feel compassionate towards.

Okay, except for the ladies on the cell phones in the quiet car.  I'm having serious trouble with compassion for that.  But I'm even making a go at it, because, well, people are people and we are all in this together.  (I mean, who isn't doing their civic duty, here, me or them?  What is the more anti-social thing, no mask or constant chatter in a quiet space?  Why sit in the quiet car if ... wait, I'm ranting again.)

So I'm not sure what the point of this post was.  First, I guess, to express that strange feeling of being sick, and so not having to be afraid of getting sick anymore.  And then to talk about that guilty feeling and sense of social duty.  Am I making the people around me as anxious as they were making me last week?  I'd feel rotten about that.  And where is the line of civic responsibility, anyway?  Masks aren't common in the US, but aren't a bad idea.  Of course OCD wants a definitive answer.  A final ruling about exactly how I should act when I'm sick.  There is no such thing.

How about I just keep up with the good use of tissues and handiwipes?  And maybe try some more compassion for myself, and for the others on the train.  Even ... ahem ... cell phone users in the freaking quiet car.

Your Hostess With Neuroses

Image credit/info: Woman with Mask, Photoxpress.


71ยบ & Sunny said...

Absolutely, lots of compassion for yourself!! And I hope you feel better soon. : )

The Blue Morpho said...

Thanks! I hope it goes away fast, too. I appreciate your visiting, reading and commenting!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I'm sorry you're sick, and I hope you are feeling better soon!

Yes, it's sometimes the hardest thing to be compassionate with ourselves. But it's so important.

Jen Daisybee said...

I hope you feel better soon!

Nicole said...

I'm sorry that you are having a difficult winter and that you are sick. I really hope you feel better soon.

I will keep you in my thoughts and I'll be wishing you a speedy recovery. Be kind to yourself and take good care of yourself. <3


The Blue Morpho said...

Many thanks again for all the warm wishes!

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