Shame and Sickness

Delicious lentil soup brought over by a friend.

I am in bed again.  For the sixth day… Although I haven’t stayed in bed as diligently this time.  I get up, I go to work for half a day, I become exhausted, I go back home, back to bed.

The moments when I am able to relax into the sickness and simply rest are beautiful, restful.  But there are lots of moments that are not…

I just got home from the walk in clinic, where the doctor told me it’s likely the flu, and there’s nothing really I can do but take vitamin C and advil and ginseng and rest.

And so I lie in bed again. But I am agitated to the point that I was practically vibrating. I sit up, I started to write. What is going on? What do I very much want to smash something right now?  I hate this feeling. I hate being sick.  I hate everything.

As I walked home I thought about how lucky I am to have easy access to a doctor, to have a warm house, healthy food, everything I need to heal.  I should be peaceful, grateful, but instead I am vibrating. Instead I feel like something is going to explode inside me.

I continue to write, and it starts making sense.  I write,

I am an idiot, it’s all my fault, I pushed myself hard last week and now this.  I think that I’m invincible, why wasn’t I more cautious with my energy. What the hell is wrong with me?  I should throw myself in the trash.  I don’t deserve to be here. I don’t deserve to be alive.

And suddenly it clicks, suddenly I know this part of my mind.  Shame.

I know that my self worth is tied up with my productivity and when I am sick I don’t get as much work done.  And then the demon in me comes out and ask, “Who do you think you are to rest?  You’re probably going to get fired for calling in sick you lazy useless piece of s***.”

I’ve seen this shame part before but never made the link of the shame that comes forward every time I get sick.  I emerge from my muddled agitation with clear eyes.

So now, even though the battle with the virus is not yet over,
I feel I have won.

Do you want to:

  • Overcome shame?
  • Stop feeling so drained?
  • Have more time for friends, family and the activities you love?

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Take care of yourself!!

Bryn Bamber
Career Burnout Coach
The Courage Compass



Author: Bryn Bamber

Career Coach Bryn Bamber helps people like you find a career that’s aligned with your goals. Her Burnout to Brilliance program teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. Start today with your FREE Checklist: Decrease Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back! Get it here - Learn more about Bryn & the Burnout to Brilliance program at

2 thoughts on “Shame and Sickness”

  1. This cloud fogging my head
    I can’t see through the smoke
    The sun and the light can’t get in
    Then I realize the smoke is there
    I swat it away,
    And once I get through this work I see that I now have Clear Eyes

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