How ARE you today?
If you answered “Fine,” and meant it, then fine. If you answered “Fine” because it’s the expected answer, the short answer or the only acceptable answer, then the question becomes “Are you really fine?” But few people stop to ask if you’re really fine. Most people assume that fine means fine.
Did you know it’s fine to admit you’re not fine?
Most of us want the world to think we’ve got it all together. We post the best of our lives and hide the rest of our lives. And many of us are hiding how we really feel from day-to-day, fearing the shame of not being “normal.” But who decides what’s normal?
The stigma that accompanies admitting that we feel very sad inside, or are so filled with fear that we can barely complete daily tasks, is not one that we want to face. We’d rather suffer in silence, stay home, avoid phone calls and make excuses. And we’ve gotten quite good at it. But depression and anxiety crave attention, and they’ll demand all that you’ve got.
But guess what? Most, if not all, of the people in that group you’re afraid to join have the same issues that you have and they’ve been hiding it, too. Some have even more. But the thing you won’t discover by avoiding that gathering is that some of them have your solution.
You don’t have to tell a whole group about the things that aren’t fine, but you could start with just one trusted friend. Sometimes raw honesty about your struggles encourages others to share how they’re fighting their own demons. Confession doesn’t make you weak. Even the strongest of officers calls for back-up, sometime.
So find someone you can trust, ask them how they’re doing and when they ask you back, tell them how you really are.
And remember, it’s fine to let them know that you’re not fine.