I’m Fine, But Not Really

I have never been big on social niceties. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in respecting others, and being courteous, but the small talk we humans tend to engage in on a regular basis doesn’t really float my boat. I’d rather we just go about our business and just talk when we actually have something to say. Since that doesn’t tend to go over too well in most social circles, I will admit to breaking down and doing the “Hi, how are you.” “I’m fine, and you?” bit more often than I would like. I do tend to get creative with my responses to the how are you question, although at most, what I will say to others is “I’m tired, you?” or ” Been really busy, how bout yourself?” But, let’s face it, how often are we really fine when we are asked that question?

Let’s take today for instance. I was not fine today. I still have a bit of a nagging dry cough from round 3 of bronchitis (this time with laryngitis too). I haven’t been able to do much other than go to work, come home, rest, for a good 6 weeks now. And I just felt so tired. At least this time, others know it is because I have been sick with something “normal.” I even sound the part, croacking out my daily musings admidst recovering from the laryngitis. So if I did admit to not being fine, it would be understood.

Here’s the problem.  I often feel not so great, tired, can’t do much other than work and come home when I have not been ill with something normal. And then it is not understood. Because I look fine. And I sound fine. Chronic illness does that, the day in and day out of the body not functioning like it should. The pain being more than one is meant to live with daily. The exhaustion being like a never ending bout of colds, flu, bronchitis… something others know as an illness.

So how am I? I’m fine, but not really.


12 responses to “I’m Fine, But Not Really

  1. Cheryl, why not post one of the “Spoon Theory” articles? Get better, Love Dad

    On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM, Wings Like Eagles in the Desert: A

  2. I struggle with the social niceties some times as well. I have been on disability for awhile and always cringe, a little, when people ask if I have to work that day. Normally a breezy answer like “no, it’s a day off” usually suffices but yesterday I got my haircut and the question was followed with the horrifying “So what do you do for work?” Like a deer in headlights a blurted something about not working at the moment. It’s hard to get your haircut while looking for a dark corner to crawl into. Some times society sucks.

    • The question about one does for work comes up often. I bet especially for men. I know I ask it as a conversation starter. When people ask me I actually pause because explaining what I do is not a one shot answer! I think sometimes though, with answers, especially in places that cut hair (where they really have heard it all), an honest explanation would be welcome and could lead to further conversation. That being said, society puts a lot more pressure on men then women to work, and is a lot harder on men who don’t, even if there is a legitimate reason for it. You could always say that you are a writer, because you are.

  3. ah my friend, I pray for the day that you can say “I’m fine and it truly be so…” love you and yes…hugs…

  4. Those casual words we use to greet each other can mean so many things. My mother’s last words, not having eaten or drunk for days were … “I’m fine.” Funny thing is, I think she really meant it.

  5. I you you well may be correct, Basira. One would hope so.
    Also, aren’t the words as much a reassurance to “the other,” as well as a statement of fact. A “don’t worry about me” statement.

    • Yes, Bob,that’s a nice way to put it, especially in for someone like my mother, who didn’t want us to worry about her.

  6. I can relate. I have Chronic Pain also.
    “The Invisible disability” I call it.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad day.
    I hope tomorrow is better.
    Thanks for liking my blog.
    I know you can also relate.
    Sometimes we have off days.


  7. I saw my family for 1st time in 3months yesterday. They dropped by for 10 min. My mother said ” You look great!” I’ve lost 35 lbs. It’s unexplained weight loss. I order fattening delivery food every day because I’ve had vertigo for 3 months. Those 3 words made me want to cry. I feel so sick. I think I’m dying.

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