Bitching / craziness / Life / Rant

On Being Sick & Letting People Down

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably figured out by now that I make a lousy patient when I’m sick. I bitch and complain, I refuse to go to a doctor unless I’m practically on my deathbed, and I generally make everyone around me want to punch me in the head so I’ll shut up. The best thing to do with me is load me up on meds, throw me into bed, and wait til I pass out, then let me out when I feel human again.

Yesterday, I was miserable. I’m pretty sure I annoyed people who weren’t even in the same city as me. I was cranky and surly, pouted when my roommate suggested that maybe I should see a doctor, and dragged my butt at work—which, in all honesty, I probably shouldn’t have gone to, but hey, I thought a nap would fix it, I really did.

Now, I’m stubborn. And I hate doctors. So when the roomie started suggesting that, I quickly shut up about how crappy I was feeling, because, y’know, not helping my case. (Not that posting about it here does. *cough*) I’m pretty sure she’s going to drag me there anyways, since she feels like I might have an iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, both of which she’s dealt with. If that’s the case, the only way to know for sure is blood tests, which, I guess, I don’t entirely hate, but I would really rather not have them, you know?

Still, I can deal with those. What makes me really cranky is that when I feel like this–achy, lethargic, unmotivated, and generally blaaahhh–I have no drive or energy to do all the things I want to do. I’ve been editing three chapters of my first novel, The Sharpest Lives, a week and sending them to a few fellow writers so that they can look them over and offer their notes on what did and didn’t jibe for them. It’s valuable feedback that’s been pushing me to keep going with the slow, occasionally as-painful-as-bamboo-shoots-under-your-fingernails process of editing.

Because I felt so crappy last night–dizzy, spaced out, lightheaded, warm/shivering by turns, you name it–I took a pass on sending the chapters. Mind you, every single one of the lovely writers/readers were very forgiving and told me to feel better and just get them the chapters whenever that happens, but I still don’t like it. When I’ve committed to doing something, I usually throw myself into it, possibly more forcefully than is strictly healthy. It’s gotten me through three NaNoWriMo wins, and has helped me pull through some absolutely gruelling times. My writing has been there for me when I needed to forget the world and all the problems that came with it; this time, it kind of felt like I wasn’t there for it.

That may sound silly, but any writer who’s written a story, a novel, anything at all where the characters truly came alive and felt real will tell you that to us, and hopefully to the readers who one day pick up our work, the characters are real. I’m confident in saying I could examine each and every single character from my Impartials & Immortals series and pick a trait they share–if not with me, with someone I know, whether intimately or in passing.

So, not only did I let down the people who are reading the story, but I let down the characters themselves. This story was begun in November 2009 and completed on the 30th of October 2010, just in time to start the sequel. They’ve been waiting a long time to get out there and be read, and now their silly writer is developing health issue after health issue and can’t get them out there because she’s too tired or achy or just plain miserable.

I hate letting people down. Especially when those people include myself, because really now, I’m the link between my characters and these early readers, after all. But before the readers get to see the characters, I have to try to fix at least the most obvious mistakes and give them a little bit of polish, and I don’t even feel up to doing that. It makes me bitchy, if you’ll excuse the French. (Never did understand that saying–if I wanna say “excuse my French,” I’ll swear in French!) And that really doesn’t improve how I feel overall, nor does it help my attitude in dealing with others. So really, this whole thing? Not so great.

There’s my little rant/bitchfest for now. How about you? What are you like when you’re sick? Do you cling to a caretaker, do you sleep it off, do you bite people’s heads off like me? And what are your thoughts on letting people down–fact of life and bound to happen now and then? Proof you’re going to hell and to be avoided at all costs? Something you do on a regular basis because you just don’t care?

Til next time, I’ll be munching brownies and scowling at the faceless doctor I’m going to see this week. Pity the poor bastard, guys, because I won’t make it easy on him. (Or her.)

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