When the only thing that’s productive is your cough..

Okay, firstly I’m sorry for the gross title, I just couldn’t resist the pun!

One of the things I’ve been worried about with this whole self-employed lifestyle is what will happen if I get sick. With all the pressure on me to make things happen, to give my time and energy into making it work and coming up with the needed funds to live, I was petrified of how much catching a virus could throw me into a tailspin and full-blown crash.


So I’m 4 weeks into my new venture and for the past two weeks I’ve been knocked-on-my-ass sick. In true Jeana-fashion, influenza turned into bronchitis making getting business ideas off the ground – or sleeping for that matter – near impossible.

My first two weeks I was rocking it. Going to yoga daily, getting outside, meditating, keeping the house spick and span, and working on my business goals ferociously. Now my house is a mess, I haven’t been well enough to go to yoga, spend time with tribe, or have any energy to be a kick ass entrepreneur.


I was sitting on my deck today curled up in a blanket (determined to get some fresh air) reading a go-get-em business/life book hacking up a lung or two, and I stopped to think.. “What happened to me?  *cough cough cough* I was so enthusiastic and making gains with new projects..and now nothing.  *cough cough cough* Why can’t I get my act together??  *cough cough cough*

What happened to me? Is this proof of some sort of personal failure and my inability to make things happen? Did I discover a lack of drive or discipline to go after what I want?

OR.. did I just get sick?


And that’s when I realized the whole situation of getting sick that I was terrified of happening, the impassable obstacle and certain doomsday that would befall me if I were to fall ill, well, it happened. It happened right out of the gate. And yes, I am certainly not where I want to be and haven’t made the progress I was hoping for in a month, but I am still here.

tiredI realize that I need to have patience with myself because evaluating myself right now, in my less than ideal state, isn’t going to help me move forward. It’s not over, it was just delayed. And that being said, there are some things I’ve been able to do and learn and make progress on, despite the exhaustion. It’s just so easy to disregard the good things you’ve done when you feel so shitty. The inner bully is an opportunist it seems, ready to weasel it’s way in when our defenses are down. In my experience when I’m feeling weaker I haven’t been able to stop the bully from getting in. What I have been able to do is notice when it has taken over and choose to see it’s judgments and hateful remarks for what they are – bullying. 


I have found reflecting on this weaker state useful to help me identify my triggers and clarify and confirm what it takes for me to feel strong (what I’m lacking when feeling weaker). Doing this helps me know myself even better. It also helps me bring compassion and understanding to why I feel the way I do, and most importantly to understand that it is temporary and that I have the power to change it. I might be at the mercy of my illness to some degree, but I know exactly how I’m going to get back to strong and healthy me as soon as my lungs cooperate.


Sitting here reflecting on this now, I’m kind of happy it happened so quickly. Now it’s not this thing that might befall me at anytime that would ensure my failure. It no longer gets to be that. It’s just something that is frustrating, adds delays, makes me feel temporarily weaker, and provides many many opportunities to practice patience, self-awareness, self-compassion, and non-judgment.


One thought on “When the only thing that’s productive is your cough..”

  1. Right on! What a powerful post. Thank you for the beautiful reminders….feedback vs. evaluation; positive regard vs. a negative one and which one we feed as well as self compassion. I love watching your journey!

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