Sunday, February 19, 2012

Who Are We?

I've recently discovered that either I have Multiple Personality Disorder or I was crowned Queen when I wasn't paying attention.  Those are the only logical explanations for one person to refer to herself in the plural form, and it seems I do that quite often.  I noticed it the other day, and then caught it several more times after I started paying attention.  Apparently, I am no longer just me.
I went to see a new doctor the other day, and she asked me about a few of my symptoms.  "We've been dealing with this since October," I told her.  "We tried {blah blah blah} treatment, and then we had {blah blah blah} side effects.  As the doctor and I discussed my medical history, I told her all about what we went through a few years ago, when we saw so many doctors and got nowhere, so we just gave up.

Now, if I recall correctly, I was the only one with symptoms.  I was the one who was tested.  I was the one who took medication.  I was the one with side effects.  And though everyone else encouraged me to keep trying new doctors, I was the one who gave up on them.  Going through it all over again now, these symptoms & side effects are showing up in/on my body, not in a group.

That isn't the only situation in which I've caught myself doing this, either.  Someone asks if I have plans, and I answer with what we are doing (or that we're not doing anything).  At work, I respond to most offers by saying how glad we are to have our volunteers' support, or to let people know what we are looking for in a given situation.

We all know there's no I in team, but apparently there's no I in me, either.  There are a couple of different ways to look at that, and yes, we have explored both options and chosen our favorite.

My initial line of thought was pretty depressing (as it often is).  While it's great to be part of a team, each individual must still be able to shine in his or her own light.  As I thought about all that "we" are going through and all that "we" are feeling, I wondered if I've lost my own personal light.  Have I lost my individuality, my identity, my sense of self?  Am I so focused on what is good for the group, for the cause, for the world, that I've lost track of what is good for me?  

Then I had a different idea ... one that was a lot more reassuring.  The reality is that though I may be the one  experiencing the physical symptoms and answering the questions, I'm not dealing with it alone.  I have friends and family who support me through it all, and are with me in spirit even when they're not in the room.  At work it really is a team effort, and I'm fortunate to be part of a great group.  Even when I'm by myself, I know that Gram is with me, inspiring me and comforting me every day.  

Maybe my use of we is not a reflection of a mental disorder or a royal ego.  Maybe it's just my subconscious way of continually reminding myself that no matter what I'm going through, no matter how difficult or stressful or painful the situation, I am not alone.  That realization just might be the first step towards making things better.  After all ... 
Notice the difference?
**If you like what you read, tell a friend.  In fact, tell me, too - leave a comment below.  If you don't like it ... well ... I'm all for honesty, but ... please be gentle!