The other day I was reconnecting with a former co-worker. We had a really nice time catching up and work, people we know, careers and such.
Nice time. Good food. Good talk.
Then, towards the end of the lunch my friend mentioned that my vitiligo was looking better.
And it surprised me a bit. It’s something I hear everyone once in a while and I usually assume that the person is just being nice. It’s just a way of being a friend, being supportive and I appreciate that. I appreciate that very much and still I suspect that perhaps someone is lying, just to be nice and I discount it.
I discount the compliment because I know the facts. I know that in fact, over the last 3 years my vitiligo has spread. Its in more places and bigger spots.
I have experienced repigmentation on my hands and face but it has not been at all complete. And on the whole I have less pigment overall.
That’s the truth. That is reality. That is what I know to be factually true.
And so when someone tells me that things look better I thing, well thanks, but let’s move on.
But this time I considered something else might also be true. Yes, when you get a compliment on your skin its your friend being your friend. Yes, it’s your friend just being nice. Yes, it’s your friend supporting you.
But maybe my friend really things it’s true.
Maybe she thought I looked better than my friend remembered and though my vitiligo is in fact worse, it entirely true so say, it looks better.
It was said because it was sincerely thought to be true. Not just being nice.
As I consider this possibility, I think through the past few years of my life and I recognize changes. Big changes in how I see myself, in how I behave, in how I carry myself, in how I talk about myself.
There is less hesitation, less doubt, less holding back.
There is more confidence, more decisions, more moving forward.
Pressing through the things that I am afraid of has been wonderful. Facing fear has lead to a better day, each day.
And maybe that’s what my friend saw the other day: me, different from what was remembered a few years ago, me more confident.
What does that look like? Maybe it looks like my vitiligo is better, even when it’s not.