Hank: (entering my room) Mama, are you eating with us?
Me: (reading from my laptop in bed) Not eating but I will sit with you for dinner.
Hank: Whatcha working on?
Me: Being kinder to myself.
Hank: That is a good idea.
Me: (sigh) I agree. My brain has been lying to me lately and tomorrow I am going to take the whole day to mother myself and punch my lying brain in the face.
Hank: (giggling) That is a good idea, but what do you mean your brain has been lying to you?
Me: My brain is causing me to think things that are not true. My whole adult life I have had really high self esteem and I was confidant and tenacious, but since getting sick and as the RA and AS have advanced my brain likes to lie to me and tell me I am faking it or that I am lazy and I am not as nice to myself as I should be because I am listening to these irrational thoughts… So tomorrow I am going to begin to kill this lying part of my brain and help my brain come to terms with what I know in my heart. I need to convince my irrational thoughts that none of this is my fault, that there is nothing I can do other than my best and that my best is enough so that I can go back to being me.
Pai: (Our resident scientist entering the room from his hallway eavesdropping) It is called impostor syndrome. It is a natural thing that can happen and mostly happens to high achievers and very successful people.
Hank: You are successful, mama.
Me: Thank you, Hank. This is why you are my best ever kid and your papa is my person. I know these things in my heart now I just have to convince my head. Today, I read a rather special article in a FASHION MAGAZINE of all places and it helped me know I was not alone. There is no greater gift than knowing you are not alone. I feel stronger because of this article and tomorrow I am turning over a new leaf.
Pai: (taking my hand) Dinner is on the table. Are you coming, Joy?
Me: (beaming) Nothing I like better than dinner with my boys.
Molly: (screaming from her high chair) Ha-ppy! Ha-ppy! (clap, clap)
Me: (giggling) and our resident pterodactyl.
Molly: Ha-ppy! Ha-ppy! (clap, clap)