Hazy Sick Induced Realty Shift (or a word that needs to be invented)

I’ve been battling a cold for the past week. The worst is over: the headache, stuffy nose, sinus pressure. The fatigue and brain fog still remain. Any time I get a cold I’m always “out of it.” Not just slow brain processing time, but as if I’m thinking differently.

I’m not quite sure how to explain it. There must be a perfect word for this this state of looking at one’s life through a hazy filter. It’s probably on one of those lists of obscure words perfectly describing specific situations or moods that I occasionally see floating around on Facebook.

There must be. Because I’m a consummate researcher (and I have Google at my fingertips) I immediately stopped writing and Googled “list of words describing obscure feelings” and found The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I didn’t look through the entire list, because I kept getting sidetracked thinking about all the interesting words that describe other feelings I have all the time, so I don’t know if my word is there. I do believe this is the origin of those Facebook posts, though, so not all is lost.

I guess I’ll just have to try to describe this feeling myself. It feels like a slight reality shift. I am still living my life doing my life things, but it all feels ever so slightly different. Like that Twilight Zone episode where the astronaut comes back from space and little things are different. He eventually discovers that there is a parallel universe and he and his other self switched places in outer space.

That doesn’t feel right either. In the Twilight Zone, he is the same, but his world had changed. When I’m sick, I know the world is the same, but my perception has changed. It is my brain that I doubt, not the world around me. (Although I do think he doubted his brain until he figured it out.)

I feel that I’m not making any sense, which is why I haven’t written lately. Nothing makes sense when I’m sick. My body feels like it has betrayed me when it’s really fighting to protect me, forcing me to shut down and rest. My brain clearly stops working.

Seattle Umbrella 1The most disconcerting aspect of this sick hazy feeling (that lingers long after the final sneeze, by the way) is a sense of impending change. As if seeing the world through new eyes requires that it actually be different. That some action must follow, bringing the change. At the very least, cleaning out the closet. At the very most, considering major life changing shifts. It feels as though part of the growth process requires a breaking down. By being forced to view life through a different perspective, paradoxically it then becomes possible (and necessary) to see from a different viewpoint.

That’s bordering on the philosophical, which my brain definitely can’t handle today.

The point is, I’ve been sick. My brain is processing differently, which is a familiarly unsettling. It’s spring and change is afoot.

It’s raining, which gives me a sense of Chrysalism, or “the amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm, listening to waves of rain pattering against the roof like an argument upstairs, whose muffled words are unintelligible but whose crackling release of built-up tension you understand perfectly.”

I need to spend more time seeing if my word exists in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. If so, I’ll report back. If not, we need to get going on a description. I surely hope I’m not the only one who feels this way when sick.