Inside and outside and stuff

Disease is a funny thing.

Not ha ha funny, the kind of funny that makes you laugh and slap your knee.

No, peculiar funny.

The funny that wakes you up at night with pain you’re not sure how to remedy. The twists and turns aren’t great, but the laying still is also tough.

The funny that has you cursing things that you didn’t know to curse before. Like barometric pressure or the changing of the seasons.

We’ve gotten pretty good at figuring things out. Take this, and this, and this, they say. And it works. Mostly. Most days. Unless it doesn’t.

Why don’t we talk about this, you sometimes ask?I honestly don’t know what to say. And, would you believe me? It’s all so often strange.

Like waking up with a fever. But knowing that you’re not sick. Not like that. No virus or infection has come to fight. To stake claim. To harm me. It’s just my body. My immune system. Coming to the match. Wanting to fight.


We go to the Dr. (this crazy lot of us with chronic illness), not because of circumstances. Not usually. Usually because the calendar tells us to. It’s time. Otherwise, we’d go so often we’d be friends, the Dr and I. High fives and handshakes and laughs all around.

We go and we look at that silly row of emojis staring at us and guess. “I don’t know, a 3? A 6?” I woke up a 3, maybe. And 6 means that my family and co workers might not get the best side of me today. My desk chair will feel all wrong, or I might take the elevator instead of stairs. But, I’m ok. Really. I am. It’s normal. My normal.

Our outsides are ok. I mean, no one’s perfect. But we have good hair days and cute outfits and cool accessories. I curled my eyelashes today. We read good books and try to figure out the Duttons and laugh good, full belly laughs. We hang in nature and swim and go out for drinks with friends. We love snuggles on the couch and the smell of fresh, clean clothes straight out of the dryer.

But, the insides of people don’t always match the outsides, do they? And I mean everyone. Not just tired bodies struggling with chronic illness, but all of us. Not just me, but you, too. Isn’t that why “they” say be kind? Be gracious today because you never know the burden someone else is carrying? We work so hard for others not to see the inside trials. The inside fears. The inside mess, really, if you will.

Sometimes, it’s that I just can’t. I don’t need your suggestions, thank you very much. I’ve heard your stories. I’ve tried your powders and oils. I’ve drank your teas, and waters, and juices, and other cures. Cures for the body that

is uncurable.

Fixes for a body that

is unfixable.

And so you become


But, not just you to me. We become that to each other, don’t we? Maybe you don’t need “fixed” today, either. Maybe you need me to listen. To hug. To sit with you in the things that you just can’t endure one more day and see you to the other side of the mess. But you don’t talk about it, either. You curl your eyelashes and move on. Because I might not understand. I might not get it, and I might try to fix it. What if we all just let each other in? What if we came curious instead of right? Listening instead of talking? Searching instead of solving? I think it would be a start at matching. Not each other, but ourselves. The inside and outside, a not so perfect match. But trying. Trying to match.

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