15 Things I Really Mean When I Say 'I'm Fine'
Ah, that one question we want so badly for loved ones to ask, yet cringe when they actually ask it.
“How are you feeling?”
I have become so accustomed to answering that question with, “I’m fine.” After all, that is one of the most commonly used and acceptable answers to a question like that.
However, in the chronic illness world, “I’m fine” masks what we really want to say. It may not reflect how we are truly feeling. A real answer may be extremely more complicated to explain. But a lie is easier to for the person asking to hear. A lie takes the pressure off of you. You do not have to explain every ache and pain that you are feeling.
So I stand there, smile on, which has become my new shield of strength, and play my role. Sometimes, I even believe myself for a split second that I am fine. But the conversation ends, and I remember, no, I am not fine. I am far from fine. But does someone truly want to hear that repeatedly? How many times can you explain to someone that you do not feel well?
“I’m fine” has become my comfort zone, my security blanket. However, here are 15 things I really mean or am thinking, when I answer with, “I’m fine.”
1. I am not fine, but it is easier to say that, than explain how I really am feeling.
2. I am struggling, but really do not want you to know that because it makes me feel weak.
3. I do not want you to know how I really feel because I can already feel the judgment.
4. We are not in an acceptable place for me to explain how I truly am feeling.
5. I am crashing, but my eyes are open and I am talking to you, so that must mean I am fine.
6. I do not want your pity because I do not feel well, and I do not want you to try to cure me.
7. I am in denial and want to believe that I truly am fine. On the other hand, I may be just too tired to answer with anything other than I am fine.
8. For a split second, I may actually feel fine. In that one moment, I am not having a flare-up or pain. That does not mean I am OK, but it means for that one moment, I can put a smile on and try to handle my day.
9. I do not want to bring either of us down with my reality. Reality is, not much has changed. But, I need to focus on staying positive.
10. When I say I am fine, what I really mean is I am in horrific pain and that I really want to curl up into a ball and cry.
11. I do not want to burden you with my problems or send my rain cloud over your head.
12. I can try to pretend things are normal.
13. I am fine means, I am here, I showed up, I got dressed, and I am fighting to get through the day in one piece.
14. I may have already tried explaining to you once before, and it did not go well.
15. “You are sick again?” is not a response I feel like hearing.
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