Do you tell the truth? Or do you say ‘I’m fine’. Mine is ‘Pretty good.’
Yes, in fact, we are liars. We do not tell the truth all the time. And for good reason. The truth is painful to discuss all the time, especially when we ourselves may be trying to distract ourselves from the pain at the time. It can be inconvenient, as in you may be out in a social gathering and to start disusing the truths of chronic pain life is rather harsh and a bit of a depressing topic to people who do not comprehend it and have no clue what to say to you when you have then spoken some of that truth. It can be that we know people just do not want to hear it all the time and we ourselves do not want to be perceived as chronic complainers. It could simply be we do not want others to worry. It could also be we ourselves do not feel like talking about it.
Most of all, the truth is a deep, heavy topic that scares a lot of people. We can be vague and light about it. But if we gave them the straight up brutal tale that is chronic pain it is frightening and scary and they have no idea how to respond to it. We don’t even want to discuss this truth all the time… that is how deep and intense it is. We instead try to distract ourselves from the pain, not dwell on it.
There are times when we say ‘This is my world. This is my struggle and this is the way it is.’ and just rant for a bit about what our existence is like. Sometimes we need to get that out. Can’t have all that truth just buried within us, eating away at us. Making our isolation that much more profound.
There are times when we sneak out wee tidbits of our existence and expect others to weave together a blanket of what it is to be chronically in pain from all the clues we drop all the little phrases and all the little behaviors.
Even ‘I’m fine’ is a clue in itself. It Never means that. Not ever. People should just take that to mean we are in pain of some sort but don’t feel like expanding on it at that time.
When I say ‘pretty good’ I actually mean I ‘mentally and emotionally’ feel pretty good about the pain I am in at that moment. Pretty good mental day.
There are reasons why we use the ‘I’m Fine’. It is fine to use it in fact. As long as we actually have people in our lives, or online, that we can be brutally honest with when we need to be, then we do not need to discuss the brutal, intense details every single day.