The Impossible Thing

Sometimes I get caught up in anticipation over something really small, like a phone call to make an appointment, or an errand that isn’t hard or even time consuming. But it feels impossible.

Today I conquered my most recent impossible thing. I went to the eye doctor in early June and needed to order new contacts. I eagerly awaited the trial pair they ordered at the appointment but when they arrived, I dragged my feet on going back to the store to pick them up. I remember when I first got contacts many years ago, it was a huge production. I had to sit with this girl and put them in and take them out repeatedly. My eyes started to hurt and it was miserable. Even though I’ve been wearing contacts for years now, I was afraid that I would have to endure that again. In the Air Force, they just kind of throw the boxes at you and you’re on your way. But I wasn’t sure how this would go. When I finally got up the nerve to go pick them up, I walked in and they simply handed the boxes to me and off I went. Duh. Why did I build up so much dread over nothing? Truly nothing.

After a week, I decided that I was ready to order a year’s supply so I made the phone call. I got a lady who started questioning me on which prescription I wanted to order. Ummm, both? My eyes are two completely different prescriptions, so I need both. She said she would take my information down and then call back once she worked out what to order with the doctor and got the authorization from the insurance company. She called back while I was walking to the bus stop to pick up a kid and I was walking by cars on the road. Not a great time to answer a phone call. She left a message for me to call back with payment information to order a 6 month supply. SIX MONTHS?? I asked for a year when I called. I let that 6 month thing get to me and couldn’t make myself return the call.

A week went by. Now I really needed to replace the trial pair of contacts. I still couldn’t make the call. It wasn’t about the 6 months at that point, it was about the fact that this was now going to be a two call process and I wasn’t prepared for that. I couldn’t make the call.

Another week went by. Now I was worked about how little insurance pays towards contacts, but covers a full pair of glasses with a bunch of premium feature and frames up to $220. Why do I get less for contacts and nothing for glasses if I choose contacts? A year’s supply of contacts costs more than glasses and I still need to buy glasses. Why is this set up like that? I was upset and angry that my vain need to not wear glasses makes me get less insurance coverage. And I still couldn’t make that call.

A third week went by and now I’m noticing that when I move my right eye around, the contact seems to be dirty. Cleaning it didn’t even help. I should’ve replaced my contacts at least twice at this point. I started thinking about going back to my old prescription just to have new contacts, even if they aren’t strong enough. Then I decide that’s dumb too, I should just call. But I don’t. And there’s no good reason in my mind now. I’m over the insurance thing, the two call process, and the fact that she said only a 6 month supply. I know I need to call soon.

This past week went by. I finally admit that it’s been too long and I should call. My wife made me promise that I would call today, Monday. I told myself that dreading the call and maybe dealing with the person who couldn’t figure out what prescription I needed was a lot, but I had to get to the bottom of this and order the damn contacts once and for all. And I called this afternoon. It was the same clueless lady, but she had the correct information right in front of her. I was prepared with my payment card. She took all of my shipping information and said these would be shipped to me for free. I finally made the call…and it was NO BIG DEAL. It was 7 minutes of my life.

I know a lot of my in-person friends have a hard time with phone calls, or social events, or doctor’s appointments. Lots of people struggle with that impossible thing that seems insurmountable for you, but no one else. When you’re stuck in the middle of the impossible thing, it seems like you are the only one who can’t get it together enough to make a 7 minute phone call. And you pile shame on yourself for being not good enough to do the simple things.

For today, I am the superhero who conquered their “impossible thing!”

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