Flu Season Thoughts from Your Immune System

It’s here. FLU SEASON. There’s no going back. Let that reality wash over you and feel the anxiety that comes with knowing you are entering a season where your immune system takes center stage in your life.

But if your immune system could talk, consider what it would say to you:

  • You need me. Without me, you will die. I’m doing my best. I try to keep up with fighting germs, but I have a limited capacity to ward off offenders. But I will always keep trying. That’s the truth, even if sometimes I get confused and attack body tissues instead of bacteria and viruses (= diseases of autoimmunity).
  • Because of how I handle the “war on bugs,” you will feel trashed. Your reality will be affected by the goings on with the warfare I initiate. Your “new normal” in this season will vary each and every day.
  • What to do? If you know I’m trying, and you know you feel terrible as your body becomes the casualty of the war zone, choose to lower your expectations of yourself. Give yourself permission to cancel, change plans, disappoint others, and put up with the limitations of your human body–ALL WITHOUT added shame, guilt, and desperation.
  • Pursue self-care and joy anyway, through the holidays and into the dead of winter. Let me keep trying, watch me get assaulted by immuno-suppressive therapies, and live to tell the tale. But don’t give up on joy. That will bring out the fury of hell to add to the inconveniences and physical discomforts of the season.
  • Hang in there, and I will too. We may be “fren-emies,” (friends + enemies), but we are in this together. See you on the other side of this flu season. We can do it.

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