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Lately, I have been, shall we say, not particularly well. Life doesn’t stop if you’re not exactly at top functioning, however, and so the other day I was attempting to go about life by walking into a shop. The lady at the counter stopped, looked at me, and told me I was very pale.

‘That is my usual state!’ I said, grinning, trying to deflect.

She was having none of it. ‘Do you want to sit down?’

And, after a bit of protesting, I realised that, yes, I was feeling crumby, and I rather did want to sit down, and maybe powering through wasn’t a good idea.

It’s hard to acknowledge moments of vulnerability when we are told that vulnerability renders you less than. This is particularly so when your vulnerability is extended, and feels like it’s eating you up from the inside. But powering through is more damaging, because the force of it erodes you, and because it doesn’t leave you room to acknowledge the true state of things. Moments of acknowledging each others’ vulnerability are moments of acknowledging the humanity in us all. And it’s those moments that encourage you to get what you need. I had a much better day after that than I’ve had for a fair while.

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