I was thinking about how nervous I was about the diagnostic process and her reading my letter. Trying to keep my breathing even. Looking at a painting on the wall. Trying not to fidget too much.
“Do you realise you’re smiling right now?” said the therapist as she looked up from my letter.
I looked at her, feeling confused. “What do you mean?”
She clarified, “Here in your letter it says you often smile at inappropriate moments. So I was wondering if that was what is happening now. You’re smiling. Are you aware of that?”
I started grinning and said I had no idea I was smiling. And then got completely confused about what I am saying because yes I know I am grinning now. But not smiling a minute ago, I didn’t know that. Was I really smiling?
She said she could see that the grinning was a nervous reaction. Those things are obvious to people who can read faces, I guess? And she said she understood what I was trying to say. So I could stop worrying about my words and what my face was doing without me having any control over it. When I had permission to stop doing words I could start feeling. I felt… at a loss for words. That’s how they call it when you can’t grasp a concept, when it doesn’t fit reality. When things simply don’t make sense. I don’t know how to describe my feeling.
I was smiling.
I didn’t know.