In Praise of Illness

Photo Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov

Being ill gives you a certain clarity about things. Before illness, the weight of the world lies on your shoulders about all sorts of mostly insignificant things – deadlines, existential crises, physical appearances, petty arguments etc. After illness, in those first days of being able to function as a human being again, all of that fades into insignificance – truly, it gave me a renewed sense of life.

Why? Because at the end of the day, physical health is all we’ve got. We don’t think about it, and almost all of us abuse it – I for one don’t exercise enough, people smoke and drink heavily, we eat without thinking about what our body needs, I even wear clothing that damages me slightly in the name of fashion (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this). I’ve come out of illness with a renewed admiration for those who take special care of themselves – not that they need my commendation, they’ll be winning in the end anyways by putting years on their life. And I wonder how before I was so unaware of how fortunately healthy, happy and well I am.

Cough sweets became an addiction

Ultimately however, I am not a saint and I know that as time passes I will forget the revelatory experience of waking up one morning no longer in constant pain, feeling as free as if someone gave me wings. I am writing this in praise of how this non-serious illness opened my eyes: next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by deadlines or small inconveniences, just take a moment to remember you and your loved ones’ health. All problems pale in comparison – when they go, that’s when you’re really in trouble. Other problems can be overcome.

Also, remember to get your flu jab – you’ll regret it later if you don’t.

Get out there

The Editor’s Picks this week do not therefore have a theme as such – just some excellent articles that picked me up when I was oh so very down. Charlotte Hartley gives us The Bubble’s very own take on the recent scientific discovery about the appearance of ancient Britons – the so called ‘Cheddar Man’. Minami Nakanishi provides us with an insight on Valentine’s love in Japan, in her first article of the series. Hannah Taylor made me laugh with a close-to-the-bone depiction of a day-in-the-life of an English student, aptly titled ‘Confessions‘. Victoria Bull gave us all something to fantasise about by conveying her Michelin Star chef father’s top 10 tips for great cooking – something I thought about closely through my chicken soup and neurofen. Finally, Aoife Clements gives us something to think about, asking ‘Why do we need more women in Politics?’ A pertinent and necessary read.

Here’s to another great week in The Bubble and to the good health of all our readers,

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