If you’d asked me a month ago if I could take care of myself, I would’ve said yes. I do my laundry. I pay my bills. I dump everything in my air fryer and call it “cooking.” I shove my every possession underneath my bed in the three seconds I’m able to stall spontaneous house guests outside the door to my room.
And then, one late night last week, I found myself in bed after having ingested one cup’s worth of sugar in one sitting, staring at the ceiling as my heart rate rapidly accelerated and wondering if this was where it was all going to end.
(Fine, this is also a thought I have when wheezing on the treadmill at just 6.0 speed, but my cardiovascular health is not on trial here. And in any case, my heart, after that sugar overdose, reached heights it’d never seen before.)
As I prepared to succumb to the most anticlimactic death imaginable, I remember thinking “how did I get here?”
I’ve had a rough past couple of weeks, which explains why this post is essentially a blog-length excuse for my taking my sweet time with posting. Normally when I get busy and there’s not something I obviously have to write about, I just come back when I do have something funny. I missed the last two weeks, and this post was almost going to be about when I plotted an escape from a stall in the men’s bathroom, where I was trapped. But I felt like being more transparent with how I’ve been instead of omitting scenes like this, as I usually do.
Yeah, probably should’ve went with the bathroom story. But what is this blog, beyond me offering you content you didn’t ask for?
When people say they’ve had a rough couple of weeks, I usually imagine they had too much on their plate. This slump wasn’t exactly that. I’ve handled worse workloads. The difference was in mindset. Every inconvenience or task, however small, felt immediate, pressing, and irrelevant to anything I was trying to accomplish. My laptop’s touchpad driver uninstalled itself permanently. I developed a dry cough that only manifested when people were giving important presentations or on busses stuck in traffic. The more I thought about all the little things I had to deal with, the less I worked on any of them.
Sometimes I didn’t even want to leave my room and turned to my packaged snacks. From shamelessly collecting leftovers from organization events and from Mom’s regular pilgrimage to Costco, I’d accumulated quite a stash. I used to bring these bulk foods to meetings and share with friends, but I hadn’t reached out to people in a while.
Because I prefer savory over sweet, the snacks I had left in my room were almost entirely sweet. Smyrna figs, raspberry yogurt pretzels, BarkThin chocolates, Brookside acai dark chocolates, coconut clusters. These became my meals. When people or groups I was working with were unresponsive, it wasn’t like there was anyone to stop me.
So that’s how I found myself reeling from my sugar high. Naturally, it killed sleep. My dry cough morphed into a goose honk cough.
Body: *commits mutiny*
Me: You know, I appreciate the concern. But it would’ve helped more if you’d stopped us from eating all that in the first place.
I’d visited a school nurse weeks ago, worried about the cough, only to have her immediately diagnose me with allergies. I’d felt invalidated then, and here I really was sick. Who’s won now, I very aggressively thought in the direction of the student services building, until I remembered I was the one who, left to my own devices, nearly overdosed on sugar. So who won—definitely neither of us.
I slept through the entire weekend. I’d needed it. The next week, somewhat recovered, I looked up “what does too much sugar do to your body” and “effects of sugar on the brain.” The results mentioned a weakened immune system, and as if on cue, Mom called me to tell me that sugar destroys your immune system and that was why I’d gotten sick.
She told me to stop eating sugar. I almost reminded her that I’m not a child and don’t need her to tell me that, and then realized there’s a much stronger case that I do.
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