It’s Been Asked Before, #SoCS

Fine, thanks. And yourself?


I find myself saying this a lot, especially when asked how I’m feeling, with chronic headaches/pain always being there. People (my loved ones especially) ask me because they care. I love them for that, but I sort of know that question so well by now, it’s lost something in its translation.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I have nobody to put all this on but myself, as I choose to avoid talking about myself one second longer, but it’s always there, that question just hanging in the air between two people like it tends to do.

When you ask this question, “how are you?” are you really and truly looking for an answer?

Perhaps so. Perhaps, it’s my own issues with a life lived with chronic pain for so many years, but I wish to retreat from the whole standardized question that keeps on coming up, and up and up and up.

Sure, I could choose to open up, to describe aches and pains that I myself am sick of hearing about, or I could simply wish to change the conversation because some things can’t be magically talked out and moved passed. Some polite inquiries are well-meaning, but overused. If it makes people feel better, as if they are showing they care, I’d suggest that might be better served by asking no questions exactly. Maybe, after years of a question on repeat, there just aren’t any simple, easy answers anymore.

No, I’m not fine, but what then?

I answer, entirely and sincerely, and what comes next?

Instead, I live my life and take action when/where appropriate. I do what I must to feel “just fine” most days, but that hum drum response only causes discomfort, for all involved.

Of course, nothing is served by living in denial of the reasons why things may not be so fine, but at a certain point, it’s been done.

I do not deny “fine” is a relative state of being. At least, it is for me. I choose to focus on things that bring that level FINE up to a more acceptable NOT BAD.

And thus the cycle, the circle of living continues in that continuous loop of years gone by.

Ask, at your own risk.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

Better off discussing things passed that initial greetings and question period stage of any interaction. The word “fine” loses all meaning in the end.

Oh that question…must I answer? This is going to sound like I’m whining again, but very well.

How am I exactly: I’m Fine.


6 thoughts on “It’s Been Asked Before, #SoCS

  1. On one particular bad day when asked how I was doing, I just started crying. I could not give the requisite fine (not fine). I have learned never to ask that question unless I am ready for the answer … any answer. I have taken to giving well wishes instead of asking someone how they are doing. Upon seeing someone in the elevator for example, I will say good morning and then find something to comment on like … I love your blouse, purse etc… Things like that.

  2. OMG the whole “how are you?” question. It’s so hard, right? Like for real hard. Do we say we’re struggling? Do we say not great? I guess it’s in who we say it to. There aren’t many people in my life I say what I’m really feeling to… which WHY??? Why can’t we just say we’re anxious or worried or whatever? For the record, when I ask how you are, I really want to know. But also, sometimes, I’m in the other shoe, where we’re walking home together from the bus, and I have 30 minutes to shower and dry my hair and drive to work…. and I still want to know, but I can’t know then, you know? Gah.

  3. Jami Carder says:

    I hear you on the chronic pain. I’ve had it my entire life. I suppose since it’s all I know, maybe it really is just fine. My perception of fine? I guess it depends on which day I’m asked, as there are definitely exacerbated days when it is obviously not fine. No matter how I answer, no one really gets it, so I might as well say “fine” and move on to the next subject.

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