Days before I received my positive covid test results, I had struck a gold mine of creative energy. My second children’s book has been progressing toward publication, and only a week ago I had an incredible surge of progress in my sequel to The Exile.
Unfortunately, this surge was short-lived. Let’s just say it’s hard to conjure up creative genius when your brain feels swollen and reading makes you dizzy. So yes, I quickly found myself in the same survival mode many have found themselves in– laid up on the couch with shortness of breath, unable to taste or smell, probably overdosing on ibuprofen, and unable to think coherently. This is actually the first semi-coherent piece of content I have written in almost a week. Small victories!
And already my mental energy is waning, so this will be brief.
Often I find people’s suggestions to “just take it easy” as veiled excuses for laziness. Many people (myself included) call it quits long before reaching an actual burnout. But the reality of illness and its effect on your brain is not something you can dismiss. Your mind is simply not at its best when your body is fighting an intense virus.
Different people have had different symptoms, but what I’ve found most surprising is how quickly my mind wears out with this sickness. If I read or write for too long (or even just think for too long), my brain begins to feel like it’s swelling inside my skull. Thankfully, this can be alleviated by lying down and resting my eyes– but it sure doesn’t make for a very productive quarantine period. Projects have sat untouched for days. My favorite blogs have been neglected. I haven’t posted any new YouTube videos. Deadlines have been postponed. And that’s okay.
As bizarre and uncomfortable as this illness has been, I am reminded that there are people who have had far worse reactions. There are people who have lost their lives or loved ones. Losing one’s taste, smell, and creative capacity is certainly no picnic for a writer who loves food as much as I do, but I am still breathing. I am still at home. And I am recovering. Slowly. And that’s okay.