When Sick is Good

by Bill Brenner on January 18, 2010

This was one of those weekends where sickness ran through the house.

Duncan threw up all over the place Friday night and was down for the count most of Saturday, as was I. Sunday it was Sean’s turn. During a birthday party at a friend’s house, he threw up all over their living room floor. Luckily, the living room isn’t carpeted, so clean-up was easier than it otherwise would have been.

The point of mentioning this is that once upon a time, before I learned how to manage the OCD, puking kids would have unhinged me. It did unhinge me.

First, I would freak out about the mess and go into total OCD overdrive. I would be rendered all but useless over such things.

Not just because of the mess, but because of the tendency I used to have to let my mind spin out of control with worry — worry that something really bad might happen to my kids.

This kind of thing still leads to compulsive behavior, even with my mental health in better shape. In the summertime, I’m still a stickler for bombing the kids with bug spray before letting them play out side. Fear of the EEE virus is a big motivator.

I also think some fears are justified, and I’ll keep acting on them. The bug spray is an example of that.

But otherwise, I’m now able to keep my sanity together when the kids get sick. I clean up the mess and move on. And in a weird way, the weekend was rather nice because of the sickness.

It forced us all to slow down — something we’re not very good at.

Duncan and I watched TV all morning, resting comfortably beneath blankets. Today, Sean will do the same.

I’ll be a cyclone of hyperactivity halfway through today, but it’s also good to know I don’t need as much lying around as I used to.

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