How are you?
Just asked a spoonie pal:
“How are you? Besides the [daily health stuff because I know of and validate your illness]?"
..and realized why I tend to become uncomfortable with "How are you?” from abled people; I feel that I HAVE to talk about my illness and daily symptoms or they think I’m “BETTER” and more capable of doing certain things when I can’t.
They prove how they misunderstand my illness to me every time I walk with my cane or unaided and they scream, “Oh look! You’re getting better!”
No, I use mobility aids interchangeably depending on the situation, I’m certainly not getting “better", this is my normal.
I’d compare it to complimenting a guy’s appearance and having to say “I’m still gay.” because they are constantly expecting it to change and don’t validate that it’s a permanent yet possibly fluid thing.
The validation of “I know the day-to-day is hard, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, you can talk about other stuff that’s going on…” while also leaving room for them to talk about their health if it, in fact, is something they want to do, is so reassuring.
Validation helps me trust you, helps me know you understand, helps me know that your care for me is not conditional and doesn’t lessen because my adversities make you uncomfortable. Learn to be comfortable with it, it’s part of my story, it’s part of who I am.