Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Visiting Hours

There is something that has been weighing on me lately - an issue I continue to contend with that unsettles me - makes me guilty and anxious in equal measure. You see a by-product of what I have shared - the sound of a clock ticking where I am concerned - has prompted many people to lovingly say they would like to see me - spend time with me - pop by for a visit or maybe something less ambitious like coffee or lunch. (And when I say 'many' - please note it is not a stampede as I am not Beyoncé and only attract so many followers! :) I have said no - in the gentlest way I know how -more times than I can say. First, I must clarify that I never was and never will be a social butterfly - and my workday life - when it existed - just didn't include the regular round of coffee dates and lunches with friends that many people seem to enjoy. It is not that neither of these things ever occurred - it is just that on a normal day I just didn't leave the office for anything but short bursts. It is not that I couldn't have I suppose - but it just didn't seem to work out like that and frankly, it just wasn't my cup of tea - or coffee if you will. It was so well-ingrained in the people I worked with that for a time my dear friend Shae Alosius Montgomery Greenfield would routinely spend a part of his morning retrieving coffee for me - my one-man delivery service! So now - after over a year away from work and 8 months since I found out my kidneys were failing, the requests to get together have escalated. And while I understand it is not all about me - and people are genuine in their desire to see me or give me a hug - the prospect fills me with a severe anxiety that I cannot get past. A point where I am so self-conscious of the way I am...the way I look...that I have to avert my eyes at stop-lights to avoid having people in a neighbouring car see me. It is hard for me to say it - and I keep asking Kirk if he can see what I see...if what my eyes are telling me is true. I see recent pictures of myself and have to look away...can't stand it - it makes me cry out loud. I don't want to be remembered this way - can't pretend I can give people all of the energy I normally would to reassure them - to comfort them - to explain. I say all this as an apology and as a sincere effort to explain why I have said no. That it is not because I don't love you - wouldn't want to hug you back - don't appreciate that you would be so generous and kind as to offer - it is just for right now anyway - it is more than I can endure.


  1. This made me chuckle - not that your post is funny, but because I say no to coffee/lunch/parties all the time and my only excuse is "don't wanna". I think you might be winning the social skills competition here. :)

    That said, I was one of those recent requests, and I took absolutely no offense to you saying no. Unless you respond to other people differently than you did me (ie, 'boy are you ever ugly, I can't bear to look at you for ten minutes'), then I really think you shouldn't worry about this.

    Of course, that type of answer would undoubtedly cut down on the requests. :)

    You have lots on your plate. None of us want you to be stressed about something like this, especially when we can so easily reassure you it is NOT a problem.

    1. Oh Andrea...thanks for the reassurance and as excuses go - yes this is one of my better ones! Xo