How Are You?

Somehow those three innocuous little words have become one of the most dreaded questions in my existence. One would think "How old are you?" would rub me much wronger, given the youth-obsessed culture we feed off of like vampires here in good ol' America. Strangely enough, given all I've survived in my younger years, I'm actually quite proud to confess to my thirty-nine years of existence. "How much do you weigh?" should hit me as pretty offensive too, but considering I'm down about 100 lbs. from my all-time prednisone/Lyrica high, and pump so much iron I can easily stuff my folds of remaining elephant skin into a svelte size six, I'll gladly tell the world I still weigh in at a walloping 148 lbs. 

But "How are you?" is a different matter entirely, because I'm seldom fine. Yet this little pleasantry is how every single encounter starts, with every single person I cross paths with, every single day of my life, forcing me to either lie or complain, neither of which I'm comfortable doing. In fact I'm not just uncomfortable doing so, I kinda refuse to answer. Not to a customer at work, where I'm being paid to represent the company, not my personal problems, but pretty much everyone else. For to lie is to betray myself and my reality, which after ten years of living sick every day I just can't do anymore, but to complain opens an even bigger can of worms.

Complaining makes me weak. It makes my problems everyone else's problems, which they aren't. Grumbling about how horrible I feel, or bad I slept, or the amount of pain I'm in only makes my reality more horrible, tired, or painful. Living with chronic illness means in order to get through life I have to ignore the internal alarms my body is blaring and instead talk about things I couldn't care less about, like Donald Trump or how badly my hair needs a trim. Therefore, the very last thing I can do is answer somebody's pleasant, mindless inquiry into the status of my state of being. "How are you?" is far too personal of a greeting for polite conversation, in my book. When I see you, tell me you're happy to see me, or that it's a nice day outside, or how pissed off you are at your husband, but please, for the love of all things holy, take pity on this sick girl and don't ask me how I am. 

Thanks for joining,
Leah

#fibromyalgia #chronicillness #fibro #fibroblog            

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