“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.”
~Mohsin HamidMohsin Hamid
Living with Stiff person Syndrome for almost thirty years, I have learned so much about how the syndrome personally affects me while continually work on ways to subdue this invasive lifelong diagnostic sociopath.
As years of medication tweaks, positive life changes, and daily utilizing a lot of my own devised physical rehab (focus on the last eight years), I have been able to maintain an uncertain stability. I still have daily aches, fatigue, and the occasional “gotcha”, but life is doable in an optimistic today.
Not dwelling on future “what ifs”, the past of my life is a relentless reminder of dark places, haunting echoes. I see, I know…
Going inside the bank, I was in line behind an older Hispanic woman. Slightly disheveled, she was clutching the line rope with one hand while the other had a cane. I felt her nervousness at the length of our wait, eyes looking longingly at the counter.
She shuffled to her “next” spot as I watched her gauge the distance from the rope safety to the counter. My heart ached at so many memories when my SPS created yawning caverns out of a small aisle in consuming terror, resulting in quivering spasms.
It was her turn. In reluctant dread, she hesitated. I understood. I stepped beside her and extended my elbow. Relief washed over her face into a radiant smile as I escorted her to the teller window.
Outside in my car, I smiled at being able to pay it forward. Echoes of individuals who came to my aid, some recent, when a space was a yawning stomach churn for me replayed in my mind. I understood.
© Debra A. Richardson