|Nose - pencil and watercolour!|
The thing is, I never remember how hideous having a cold is when I haven't got one. I just think, well, its a runny nose.
So this is an official announcement. I take it all back. Having a cold is one of the more insidious tortures known to mankind. And I should know, because I've got one at the moment. I came down with it just as soon as I left the Writers' retreat on Sunday afternoon. My usual warning signs. Sore at the back of my nose and a stiff neck. (Unfortunately for me, because my ME was triggered initially by a flu-like virus, I tend to come out with some of the symptoms of that original bug. And its always the more annoying ones. Like the insatiably itchy rash on my back, the itch that doesn't stop no matter how many times you scratch it.) Now I'm nearly drowning in mucus, and feeling very sorry for myself indeed!
It seems to me that the cold is specifically designed to make you as miserable as possible. Its not anything particular that you can put your finger on that really does you in, not the woolly-headed-ness, or the sore throat, or the cough, or the endlessly runny nose, or the nostrils that get so sore and chapped that you can't bear to touch them with the tissue. Its everything together.
True to my philosophy of 'Its only a cold, and I'll feel better tomorrow', I tend to soldier on. Yesterday I had to go into Norwich to do some errands before my counselling appointment. I found myself sitting on the floor in front of the Filofax section in WHSmiths, not really remembering how I'd managed to get there, or why, and just wanting to cry. All because of a silly little cold! Its infuriating.
When I got to my counselling appointment, my counsellor/Guru said, 'What is your cold stopping you from doing that you don't want to do?'
Hmm, tricky, eh? (Given that I'd just got back from a weekend concentrating on my novel, and with a list of plotting jobs that needed to be done!) So one of my homework assignments this week is to think about whether the cold is stopping me from writing, or whether the cold is specifically to stop me from having to write....
And finally, to all those of you out there who are similarly struggling with the dreaded lurgy, you have my sincerest sympathies. Honestly. (And Vicks Vaporub really helps.)