“How are you?”
“How’s the insurance situation?”
“What’s happening with your treatments?”
“Do they expect you to improve?”
I know these questions come from a place of love, but for heaven’s sake, STOP ASKING ME ALREADY! The problem, of course, is that I have so many great people in my life who care. I am grateful for that, really I am, but I wish they’d care a bit less verbally!
Every time I speak to someone who I haven’t spoken with in a while (and every time I see my grandparents, who are always anxious for news and forget that we just spoke about it 3 days ago) I get asked some version of these questions. This can translate to no questions for several days, or having this conversation 5 times in 1 day!
One of the challenges of having crappy health is keeping a healthy perspective. I know you know what I mean. Since I am unable to work, I don’t have a job to distract me. Since I am not able to go out much, I don’t have other “news” to discuss. Since I’m not able to date, I can’t distract my friends with tales of lurid sex (but maybe I should just make some up?) This leaves me with a lot of free time to dwell on all the shittiness in my life…. or not. I opt for not. I try hard to keep some balance. I read books and blogs and other useful sources to learn as much as I can about my various health conditions and the possible treatments for them. Then I pursue those treatments. I read books and blogs on personal finance and on various personal development topics so that if (when?) I get better, I will have a life that I truly enjoy. I read novels and watch tv as an escape to a fantasy world. I spend as much time as I can with family and friends, even if some of that time can only be spent by phone or email. I spend time thinking about my situation in terms of my various options (or lack thereof) and how I might handle each scenario. So basically, I try to avoid woe-is-me thinking as much as I can. Sure, I have my off days – who doesn’t? But I try to limit them and to focus on other areas of my life.
And it works. It works really well. Until a friend asks what my current health status is, and if I think I’ll improve, and what the doctor says, and what I’ll do without health insurance (as of this weekend!!!) and where my LTD appeal stands and and and and and….. It drags me back into the mess that is my life, and it makes me dwell on the lousy parts and re-realize how uncertain the possible improvements really are.
So I’m done. That’s it. No more. From now on, I will not answer these questions (with exceptions made for my parents and grandparents, who are all awesome and supportive and wouldn’t put up with this ban even if I tried!) I am going to write up answers to the standard questions, make a personal FAQ, and simply email everyone who wants to know. And if they don’t like it? Too bad. If they really care, they’ll understand that this is what’s best for my sanity, that their questions force me to dwell on the negative when I am trying so hard not to do that. I will try to explain, and then I won’t answer their questions. That’s it. Fini. End.
This is such a great post as I can completely relate to what you are saying, it gets so frustrating when you’re constantly getting asked how you are from the same people. Like you, I have many people that care and I’m truly grateful for that but nonetheless, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. It has now got to the stage where they don’t ask as much as I have explained to them how it makes me feel and they completely understood.
Thanks for this post.
It’s great that they understand. I guess that’s what I have to work towards now.