I woke up at six a.m. this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Feeling a little under the weather, I grabbed a coffee and a slice of toast and climbed back into bed with a laptop and very happy cat. Sometimes it’s nice to feel normal and that is still one of my pictures of averageness. Cat, coffee, toast, laptop, bed, morning.
The same friends that know when to offer advice and when to just listen with unconditional support are also the ones who know when to ask how I am and when to avoid the topic like it never existed. I get annoyed that I often answer the question ‘how are you’, with a paragraph long reply, but I’ve also learned that getting it out of the way quickly means we move on to other things.
Most days, I don’t mind explaining to the lady at the supermarket why my wrist is in a brace or what the things on my fingers are and I don’t mind telling friends that I need a few minutes out from a heroic because I need to put my shoulder back in. I don’t mind being asked a dozen times every day how I am by people who scoff at ‘I’m okay’ and I really want to know. I treasure that people care enough to want to be kept informed.
But occasionally, I want to just forget about being sick. I want to talk about books and movies and news and gaming and even more so, about nothing much at all. Today was one of those days where I didn’t feel like explaining or sharing many details. I wanted to just be me rather than ‘someone with EDS’. Labels have some use, but sometimes I wish the world would catch on that they do not define who you are.
A friend can provide a little bubble where I get to just be me all the time, which gets me through the every day days, but sometimes, I need to have a whole day off from the ‘how are you?’ mini-interrogations that accompanies the staring. Today, I was just me.