The nurse steered me into the bathroom and handed me the plastic cup.
“When you get done, put it in the little door over there.”
‘Over there’ was on the wall across the hall from the bathroom. You have to leave the bathroom with your cup.
Great, I just know that as soon as I get done and open the bathroom door, that waiting room door is going to open and the nurse will walk into the hall with someone else and I’ll be standing here with a cup of pee.
That’s exactly what happened
Before I opened the door, I even listened closely for a second to see if all was quiet in the hall. It was. And as soon as I opened the door, the waiting room door opened and we all almost bumped into each other.
“Excuse me,” I said, and we did the awkward “No you go ahead” dance. I almost said, “Hi! This is my pee! That came from inside me! You know, that no one EVER SEES! Until now.”
I didn’t say that. But it’s what I felt. Exposed. Like a big flashing yellow neon arrow was pointing at the cup in my hand.
I noticed the new patient in the hall had her empty cup in her hand. She was next in the bathroom.
I wasn’t alone.
Every patient in that office—dozens a day—listens at the bathroom door and then walks out into public holding their pee in their hand. And feels alone but isn’t.
Isn’t that how it is?
You try to hide the ‘private’ stuff, the stuff that’s so personal you just know no one else has this, does this, knows this, feels this, experiences this, thinks this, or had this happen to them.
And then for a second you stop thinking of yourself and look down and you see they’re holding a cup of pee too.
You’re so busy walking around trying to hide it that you don’t realize everyone else is trying to hide theirs.
We all just need to fess up
“Hi, this is my stuff I don’t want anyone to see. I see you have yours too. Now can we just move on and stop pretending we can hide?”
Pretending and hiding takes a lot of energy that could go towards other more fun, beneficial things.
You can spread a lot of encouragement with the energy you save by not worrying about hiding what everyone knows anyway.
You’re not alone
I’ll give you grace and you give me grace. I won’t point and laugh at your pee and you don’t laugh at mine.
Now let’s go have a Mountain Dew.