Saw this T-shirt ad and laughed, remembering a time well over a decade ago when I was saying the same thing to anyone who asked: “Yeah, no,… I’m fine.”
“Yeah, no…” just by itself, said it all. Inner conflict reigned supreme in me, and I was really struggling at the time.
My guess is I probably looked a bit like that frazzled cat on the shirt which drew all the “How are you’s?” from whomever I was near. Not sleeping can do that to you.
Sometimes when we say, “I’m fine,” it’s far easier than trying to explain to anyone including yourself, how you really feel, or even attempting to deduce WHY you do feel that way.
Of course back then I wasn’t fine. Not even close. But I knew I had to be FINE, so that’s what I was to anyone who asked. Anything else required unwelcomed friend-advice and well-meaning, but unappreciated, further questioning.
Being “FINE” was the only option I could let myself be at the time, so I can easily understand others who may currently shrug-off concerned parents, friends, and even healthcare professionals on how they are truly functioning in the world around us, because sometimes we aren’t FINE, but we don’t know what to do about it other than keep struggling through the miasma of our life.
IF by chance you are presently feeling like the shirt depicts, don’t be like stubborn/independent me. Get some help—and I mean serious help, like a licensed therapist. Sometimes being able to express to an uninvolved person the worries that you hide in the deepest recesses of your mind can lighten the mental/emotional load that you are actually carrying.
Concerned friends may mean well, but they just can’t provide the penetrating questions that allow you to go to hidden places in your memories or to pierce your projected anxieties over everything occurring around you, to help you better understand WHY your head goes where you most don’t want it to go—especially at night.
I mean seriously, “It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine,” doesn’t accurately describe this world that we all know so well:
- Nothing is really “FINE.” It simply IS—because it exists within all of its complexity and interconnectedness.
- The world itself that we live in IS as it is, despite what we wish that world might be to us and to everyone in it.
- Our partners are who and what they are, for better or worse, rather than who and what we often WISH that they were.
- Our bosses are also imperfect people in their own right with their own particular weaknesses and occasional self-focused obnoxiousness that they inflict on others near them.
- Many random people around us are sometimes rude and crude to others, and may have no respect for us or for our efforts. They often seem too wrapped up in themselves and their own concerns.
- And despite what we may wish to believe, bad things DO happen to good people for reasons that none of us can even fathom; which only proves the point that LIFE is sometimes unfair when you only want it to balance the scales for you just a bit more.
BUT…. despite how the world keeps happening as it happens all around us—which is mostly beyond our control—we do still have a choice both in how we wish to view it and in how we respond to it.
So my suggestion to anyone out there who may bear some resemblance to this shirt slogan and frazzled cat graphic is to stop and admit to yourself first that YOU ARE NOT FINE; and then to seek out someone—like a professional therapist—who can help you wade through the current muck that is muddying up your life.
Seriously now. It really helps to get another opinion on the overall situation from someone not related to you or emotionally invested in you in some way.
Sometimes you simply have to do what’s right for YOU, before you can attempt to help others.
And it’s okay NOT to be FINE once in awhile.