Emotional Work

Day 959 and Averages

I did not react to a drug in an average way. I’m really pissed about it. I went in so confident based on what the studies has shown. We’ve got this fantasy of science and specifically medicine that has very little appreciation for what it does to outliers.

We discuss what’s most likely. What’s average. What’s typical. We explain the difference between mean, median and average. We have rigor. We have regressions. We can come to an understanding of what the models agree is conforming to our understanding. You should probably see these results.

And then we gloss over the bad data. The outliers. The grits of sand. The flecks of reality that make your model jitter. The shit that just makes things more complicated. So maybe you toss it out.

And it mostly doesn’t matter. Because your body probably is pretty average. And that’s a great thing. We tell stories about what it means to be unique even as you are no different than anyone else. Pixar movies are about our ineffable spark of humanity soul even as it reflects on how we are all really just the same. Shared human experiences are universal. Probably because our bodies are pretty similar.

I sincerely believed I was average for most of my life. I was raised with that as a value. And now as an adult I see how I’m average in so many ways. But my body will never fully reflect a shared reality. You get to know what works for you even if you know what boundaries are a little different for you.

You’ve got to know the contours in which you are exactly as your reality would indicate. That’s your ego speaking generally. But the ways in which you are not matter too. That’s where you tailor treatment.