When I was young and the only one I knew with bad health, I felt like the rotten apple in a bowl of healthy fruit. It didn’t matter where I was — at work, with family or with friends. No one could relate. I worried that my “bruises” made me stand out and unappealing.
But now that I’m older and often in a crowd of 55+ folks, everyone has a tale of bad health. I’m no longer alone. Does it feel easier? Yes.
The same thing happens to those who are currently unemployed, another “socially difficult” state of being. One client said that it’s easier for her to go to be with other people now that everyone knows someone out of a job. But being under 40, she still can’t talk easily about her illness.
There’s something wrong with this picture. Are people so unable to empathize with an event outside of their experience? Do we have to be among others who share our sufferings to feel comfortable? Or are we unnecessarily paranoid and uselessly isolating ourselves?
I’m going to find a sandbox to play in – – maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find someone else in my state of health and employment to play with!