**I know, it's been a while since I got all serious on here, but writing has always been therapeutic to me. This isn't a post to make people feel sorry for me or to get sympathy. So please don't read it as that. It's just been building up inside of me for a while and writing seems to be my outlet. If you feel like continuing with this post, please do. No pressure to read it though.**
It's a question most of us get asked multiple times a day "How are you doing? or "How are you?" If you are like me, you probably respond with one of the following: "I'm good." "I'm great." "I'm fine." "I'm living the dream." (What, you don't say that?) "I'm okay."
I don't know why we ask that question. I guess we were raised to be polite and that is why it's usually the first thing we ask when we talk to someone. Or maybe it is a culture thing? I really don't know. I'm sure a lot of times people are only asking out of politeness, they couldn't care less how I was really doing (meaning strangers at a store, or people you see in the elevator at work). And of course, most of the time, I respond with just a polite, "I'm good" or "I'm okay" response (while asking them how they are doing, of course).
I've noticed that "I'm good" or "I'm okay" has become my standard response all the time, even when I'm NOT okay. And this is even when a good friend or someone who genuinely wants to know is asking. It's not that I'm trying to be deceitful or that I feel they don't really care (because I know they do), I'm just the kind of person who hates placing my burdens on someone else. I know, I know, it's what friends are for- to be there for you when you need them. And I can name about 10 people who will text or message me after reading this post reminding me that they are ALWAYS here for me. And I love them for that.
And I know, I'm the first one at a friend's side when they need someone to talk to (that's just my nature), but still, I like being the friend who is happy-go-lucky all the time. The friend who is smiling and telling jokes. The friend who gets giddy over meeting celebrities (I'm looking at you Ralph Macchio). Not the friend who sits alone in her apartment crying for unknown reasons. Or the friend who feels that her life is spiraling out of control and she doesn't know why. Or the friend who is dreading the upcoming holidays because they make her feel alone. Or the friend who stands inside the door of a Half Price Books for 10 minutes trying to work up the nerve to walk to her car by herself in the dark (if you haven't known me that long, read here for that reasoning).
I can already hear what you are going to say: It's not healthy to keep emotions bottled up inside. You have so much going for you, don't let this get you down. No one is a failure if they have friends (yes, I am paraphrasing that from It's A Wonderful Life). And you are right. On those points and the others I'm sure y'all have.
Don't get me wrong, life isn't ALWAYS like that for me. I'm not in the depths of despair ALL the time. There are a lot of times when I say "I'm good" or "I'm great" and I really mean it. Heck, I can say that William Zabka (Johnny in The Karate Kid) was the last guy to kiss me (okay, it was a peck on the cheek, but it still counts. And it's an improvement over the previous guy). And last weekend I got to see some of my family and two of my favorite little ones (who gave Aunt Rachel plenty of much needed hugs). So yeah, when I said I was doing great then, I meant it.
Again, this wasn't a post to get sympathy or to have people worry about me. So please don't. I'm determined to make changes in my life to help with "not being okay". And yes, I know that there are a lot of you there for me if I need it. And I promise to work on being more honest when I'm "not okay".
If you are still here, thanks for reading. I do feel better after typing this out. Like I said, writing is my therapy (and it's a lot cheaper than going to a therapist, trust me, I did that for a while too. They aren't cheap!)