Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Feeling Worthless

If you read my blog regularly, you've heard about my recent cold. The cold is gone, but for the last couple weeks, the cough has remained. A trip to Urgent Care a couple weeks ago for antibiotics and heavy duty cough suppressant did no good, so I have an appointment this morning with a regular doctor. I've been diagnosed in the past with reactive airway disease and given an inhaler – I suspect that may be the result this morning.

Whatever the diagnosis, I am praying, praying, praying that he can fix this cough. It is exhausting. Not that I cough constantly, but I pretty constantly have the urge to cough. I have to breathe deeply to feel like I'm getting enough oxygen into my lungs. It's like they're stuffed up. And any exertion of any kind sends me into a real coughing fit. Exhausting.

But more even than the physical toll it is taking on me, I'm struggling with the emotional toll. I don't like myself these days. Because I can't do much, I feel like a lazy bum. I feel ashamed of my unproductive days.
And that is pretty ridiculous. I mean, I'm SICK. And I know better than anybody how sick I am. It's not like I can be suspicious that I'm faking it or something.
I'm realizing these last couple weeks how much of my personal value I tie to my productivity. I am only worth something if I am getting things done. Checking off my to-do list. If my husband asks me what I did today and I have an impressive dossier to present.
Apparently, in my heart of hearts, I believe if I were to suddenly be rendered bed-ridden for whatever reason, I would immediately be unworthy of anyone's love or respect. 
Where did I get this idea? Who knows. Right now, I'm more concerned that I'm not communicating similar values to my daughters. As much time as they spend sitting around watching TV or playing computer games, I kind of doubt it. But goodness, how critically important it is for me to ensure they understand that their value comes from being a child of God – nothing else. 
I suppose it's just as critical that I understand that myself. In fact, that's probably a prerequisite to my kids getting it.  So maybe I'll listen to some Casting Crowns today.  Not because of what I've done . . . but because of who You are . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do understand what you are saying. And I rarely say that, I usually say something like "I think I understand what you are saying/feeling" because it is so difficult to truly understand another person's experience. But in this case, I think I do relate to what you are saying, if not what you are feeling.

When I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Depressive Disorder, I swore I would never go on disability. Long story short, I was fired from four jobs over 10 years because of it. And not, just hired, part time jobs, but career jobs I had been at longer than a year each. I just couldn't sustain what you need to work 40 hours a week.

Today I am on disability. It can be hard to feel good about yourself when both you AND the government know you can't work. But with time and emotional work it is possible. I volunteer as much as possible...when I'm sick I can't do as much, but there are times when I can do a fair amount. I write when I am not depressed, and that helps me feel like I am offering something to my community, something creative and enduring.

There are times when I can do neither, but knowing that my worth is as a child of God, not as a producer for God, helps. I hope you are able to find that same peace. Good luck with the visit to the dr.