Dear nice friendly person:
No, I don't feel fine. Thankyou for saying I am looking really well. I know that you are only trying to be kind and upbuilding. Unfortunately it reminds me of the fact that even when I feel sick people think I'm doing well, and therefore I must be putting it on.I know this is not the case, but I think it anyway.
I am sorry, nice friendly person, that I am not talking much back to you. It is kind of you to ask me all about things I am up to in my life and work but I am using my last bit of energy to breathe at the moment. I am not being rude to you, I would love to talk more, and feel so awful that I must be giving the impression of someone totally disinterested and ungrateful. Inside I feel sad. But I cannot form the words, today they are too tiring. Please read the Spoon Theory - you may get a glimpse of how it is. For now though, I wish I could say this to you. Be honest. But I smile, say I'm fine, and attempt to eke out a few words in response to your kindness. I then go, leaving you feeling like I'm pretty unfriendly. I am sorry. If you got to know me, you'd realise I'm quite nice really.
Dear lovely friend:
I'm sorry I couldn't hold a coherent conversation with you on the phone. I love chatting with you but worry you must think I don't want to be bothered with you, can't wait to get off the phone. I'm sorry. My pain is making it difficult to talk and draining energy for chat, and the drugs addle me somewhat. I'd love to have a good long girlie chat, but today I cannot. It's not you, it's me, and all that.
Dear Daughter and Daughter's friends:
I'm delighted you are having fun together today. I would love to be up and about making cakes for you and giving you drinks and making you feel welcome and at home. I am so sorry I'm huddled on the sofa under a blanket looking pretty rank. I worry about your impressions of me. I shouldn't. I wish, DD, that I could be a better Mum for you.
I'd love to play games with you all day. I wonder if you think I don't care very much about you sometimes, when you've asked me and I've yet again said no. And when you've asked me for a story and I've said not tonight. Tonight I just haven't got the breath, DS. I love you so much and wish I could do more for you and with you. I'll read that story soon.
Dear Random Stranger:
Please don't ask me what I do, or suggest what I could do. OK? Thanks. :)
Dear Adventure Bloke:
I am so grateful I never have to pretend with you, or apologise for being ill. Not that I'd get away with such antics.
Thanks that you know all these things and all these thoughts and all these feelings. And I never have to pretend with you. And I know you're always with me.