My Fucking Head Hurts and My Time is Slow: Days 1&2

There’s a fine line between feeling like shit and having a shit feeling. I associate “feeling like shit” with my entire day becoming filled with fecal feelings – stinky, mushy, demanding, perhaps ill-formed and diarrheal.

(Stick with me here, I swear this is my only mention of diarrhea and poop in this entire post. All apologies to the coprophilics out there.)

On the other hand, a shit feeling is something you battle through. A momentary passing, a nagging sprained ankle that you exercise on, or a breakup that was hard but necessary. It’s there, but it’s acceptable. As I like to remind myself, a bad five minutes shouldn’t ruin an entire day, nor should a shit feeling.

The problem was, this shit feeling was a bit more than a bad five minutes. During the first day of my fast from caffeine, sugar, alcohol, refined carbs, and social media, my shit feeling was a head that seemed to ache from top to bottom for the span of a day. I was foggy and dizzy. My body reaallllllyyyy wanted some caffeine.

“It sounds like you’re feeling like shit,” my dad interjected Saturday afternoon during a visit. I had complained that I had a shit feeling.

“I wouldn’t say that,” I said. “I mean, my head hurts and I’m in a bit of a daze, but on the whole, I feel pretty good right now.”

It was true. I was in Wheaton, Illinois, in the house I lived during my high school years. I was spending time with him and my step-mom Evelyn. It was a lovely day – backdoor open, sun shining, birds singing, dogs rubbing themselves into the floor. My dad lied supine on the couch on his fifth day of recovery after a hip replacement surgery. Every few minutes, he adjusted to try and find a semblance of comfort. Perhaps the dogs had the right idea.

This conversation between my dad and I is a good representation of our relationship. He’s an attorney who taught me how to argue, something I’m sure he regrets after drawn out conversations on shitty things that lead us to a few days of father-son radio silence. But it’s been a useful tool, one I’ve used to my advantage against amateurs and professionals alike.

Today’s point wouldn’t cause an argument. Hell, it wouldn’t even register for more than a minute. He conceded that I could feel bad but not let it ruin the day. I was trying to make a finer point – he was lying on the couch hoping to hell his painkillers would make the sharp pains of the surgical scar less intense. I, on the other hand, had a headache.

Complaining about my withdrawal pain would be like a man annoyed by a fly complaining to a woman who has stomach worms.

Shit feeling or not, I continued to enjoy the day with friends and family. Why let a headache ruin a day of sunshine? What you feel doesn’t have to dictate how you feel. Don’t let a shit feeling ruin an entire day, is what I kept telling myself – now and forever.

**

On day two, my head didn’t ache. In fact, it felt quite nice. Are the withdrawals ending or did I just finally get the amount of sleep humans are meant to get?

My investment in creating more time seems to be paying off either way. At 3 p.m., I looked to the clock and expected to see some number closer to 6:30 p.m. Nope. Well, what the hell do I do now? To pass the time:

I cooked (Brussels sprouts, neck bone with onions and garlic, and a kale, green pepper, and feta salad)

I did my taxes

I read (Steinbeck’s East of Eden and Pinker’s Sense of Style)

I wrote by hand and by keyboard

I meditated

I exercised

I stretched

I took a nap

I took a walk

I played video games

I studied some vocabulary words

I studied Spanish

I drank camomile tea like a modern day Gwen Stefani

I watched videos on the importance of exercise to remind myself that I should get into the fucking gym.

And then finally, it was 6:30 p.m. I suppose if there’s one thing social media trains you for, it’s doing a lot of things very quickly and in rapid succession.

A luxurious pace seems to bubble up when one halts social media and liquid speed (coffee, for any future HR representative, politician, reader, or fellow writer who doesn’t understand what I’m alluding to here). It’s as thought I’ve gone from flying across choppy waters in a speed boat to plodding along still waters like a cruise liner. It’s a pleasant change, that of going from restive to reflective.

However, when I wrote in my notebook at a local coffee shop, I asked myself a question that was clearly nagging me when I started this abstinence: Does any of this count as a life lived? My actions are clearly advancing a small set of things I want and need to do: get smarter, keep limber, keep calm, not be arrested by the IRS on charges of tax evasion. But what am I doing that I’ll remember in 20 years? Do I need to be doing something that is remembered in 20 years or is this life just a fantastic experiment that will eventually come to a screeching halt?

I paused, pen flickering between my fingers, and remembered that it was Sunday – a day of rest, if there are any such days. I sipped on camomile, leaned back, and enjoyed the moment.

Next month, I’ll be in Spain, I remembered – isn’t part of living life the quiet, reflective moments before the loud, bombastic moments?

My pen fell back to the paper and I continued to write. Each letter dripped off, hitting the page like a leaky sink. I wasn’t in a rush. No, I was enjoying a quiet moment of a life in progress.

Advertisements

One thought on “My Fucking Head Hurts and My Time is Slow: Days 1&2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s