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.