I went for a check-up yesterday. It was nice to see my specialist smile after he read my test results.
Every trip to the hospital makes me think about my journeys; the one to a proper diagnosis and the one to Healthy Town. Since I started writing this blog, the appointments have also brought back memories of what I did to isolate myself.
Even the most anti-social guy is a social being. To be truly anti-social, you’d have to live in the woods by yourself completely off the grid and off the land.
I’m not very good at catching fish and I’ll never know a poisonous mushroom from a good one, but I wanted to learn when Dr. HC diagnosed me with that shit condition. Instead of watching reruns of Survivorman, I stayed in the city with Tim and the doctors.
Living with neighbours, co-workers and family can be tricky when there’s a part of you that you’re unwilling to share. Luckily, there are a few ways to tell a non-truth.
Misdirection: You weren’t here yesterday, says a co-worker. Are you okay? Ah, I wasn’t feeling well, I reply, but I’m great now. Hey, how did the big meeting go? Was Frank super pissed about your numbers?
Side step: Do you have Fibromyalgia? Well, Boss, there’s a lot going on right now.
Denial: I’m fine, don’t worry.
The truth is, in order to segregate my illness from certain parts of my life, I had to lie. I remember one test that required me to wear a pretty bulky piece of electronic equipment for 48 hours during the work week. My first thought was about hiding it from my co-workers.
And I did hide it. If anyone noticed, they didn’t say. There are enough people there who would say something, regardless of my attempts to stay distant.
Lying takes tremendous energy, which was something I didn’t have to spare. I had to map out escape routes beforehand, because I wasn’t good at thinking in the moment. I had to pin down distractions.
At first, my heart would pound with every spoken lie, and then it became routine. Easily ignored. Just like the middle-aged panhandler, who made me sad at first. His sign said he needed money because he was travelling. Three days later, that same man was there with the same sign. After two weeks, I was annoyed, and a month later I didn’t care. The sign might have been more effective if he travelled to another intersection.
In my life, I at least had the decency to change my sign according to circumstance. But it didn’t really matter, because with every act of misdirection, the adrenaline slowed and I became a liar.