False Positives of Life

I’ve had arthritis for almost two decades now and one of the most difficult part of the diagnosis to come to terms with has been when what I feel doesn’t match with what is really happening. This has one of two different appearances:

Either I feel wonderful, but my disease is very active (according to blood results).

Or I feel terrible, but the arthritis (according to blood tests) appears to be stable or even inactive.

What do you do when what you feel doesn’t match up with what’s really happening?

If you’ve ever met someone who’s in a safe place enjoying their favorite food with their favorite people but still seems weirdly on edge, it’s probably because they’re familiar with the concept that when the stars align, it doesn’t necessarily indicate it’s for your own personal benefit.

These are often the same people who are comfortable with life’s more difficult situations which seem to indicate to them that at least they are aware of where the problem actually is, and can be addressed accordingly.

But false positives lead to a chronic and perpetual awareness of the other shoe dropping. You don’t know when, or why, but there is another shoe, and it’s going to drop and oh man, be prepared for the fallout.  False positives awareness, I am saying, does not exactly lend itself to pleasant people.

In general, anxiety does not lend itself to pleasantness. And in life we’re often stuck in this discomfiting experiences where you can’t tell if you’re in the clear, or if you’re in a false positive. I’ve yet to find a satisfactory sign for letting me know it’s time to start celebrating instead of hunkering down in a panic room.

But I am in my 30s now which means I’ve learned a wee little bit about life and I can tell you this much: if a false positive and a positive look the same the only difference is what comes after this time of ease then do this: enjoy the false positive.

Do you know what a miracle it is for an arthritis sufferer to feel genuinely good? Not to mention when science tells you that you should be feeling miserable? It’s rare. It’s a blessing. Who cares if it’s fake or not? Temporary or not? If you can enjoy the moment before you than do so.

With enough time and distance any false positive will inevitably look like the real thing anyway.

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