A Jury of My Peers

I imagine standing in line, clutching a doctor’s note that is supposed to relieve me of performing my civic duty. I will be surrounded by strangers, each with their own excuses for why they cannot perform theirs: a job, a family, a physical illness. I will stand alone in the crowd, trying to hide my already invisible disease.

Is it really what these people think that scares me? Or is it what they will say? Will someone ask me to explain myself, to go into detail about why it is that I don’t think I am capable of doing jury duty? Will someone point to me and whisper?

I will blend in to a crowd of strangers, until my name is called, my juror number read out, and I must step away from safety.

I will reach up and hand my doctor’s note to the judge. She will open the envelope and glance at the paper, which refers to my “medical condition.” Then she will peer over her podium and look me up and down. And what if she says the worst thing of all?:

“You don’t look sick to me.”


Have you ever heard this kind of comment while living with an invisible illness? Let me know what happened in the comments below.


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