The million dollar question for the week is “How are YOU doing?” I’ve struggled with this question. Not just this week, but for as long as I can remember. I would ask myself “do they really want to know?” Most of the time I would come to the conclusion that they don’t really care, it’s just what you say. So I have my blanket responses “I’m making it” “I’m fine.” “Another day in paradise” “Lovely, how are you?” I have always struggled being truthful with myself. If you go into a long answer about how life is shitty and you feel like every day is a damn fight to see if you can survive the most relentless onslaught of issues thrown your way people tend to get uncomfortable. That’s not what they want to hear. They want to hear the funny answer the “well darlin’ if I was doing any better I’d be twins but I’m pretty sure you couldn’t handle to of me could ya?” Spoken in the southern accent that makes you seem almost sincere. A wink and a smile and leaving them trying to formulate a response. A lot of times it’s such a formality to ask “how are you?” that they don’t even actually wait for a response before they move on to tell you what they want or need. It’s pretty confusing for me and triggers me to overthink. What a basic question to overthink about.
With everything going on right now I have to ask myself often if they really want my true answer. Is it concern? Is it lack of knowing what to say? Is it formal? If I answer with the truth how will that answer be received? Do I want these people to know that I’m somewhere between a laugh and a cry and that at any moment I could fall apart and make this whole situation super awkward for everyone? Do they know just them asking that question could make me reach my breaking point if I have been actively trying to hold myself together all day? So most of the time I don’t answer with anything but my one line and hope that is enough for them to move on. I hope the person on the other end of the question accepts my answer without another question or doubt and moves on because I honestly haven’t thought about it and don’t want to. It’s a loaded question and I’m not sure the answer will be what you want to hear. I’m just going to say “fine” or “I’m ok” and move along with my day.
I need to answer this very seemingly simple question. I need to answer it for me. I need to check in with myself and quit lying to myself about how I’m doing. So here it goes…it’s definitely not pretty! How am I doing? How am I doing? I’m pretty much living moment to moment. I can’t look too far ahead and I try not to look too far back. I’m a mess. I’m barely holding it all together. I’m stuck in fear and this paralyzing guilt that I’m not doing enough. However, I can’t seem to function. I can’t breathe. I can’t relax. I am currently living off of caffeine, chaos, cuss words and this bit of creativity that’s is keeping me from going completely crazy. I feel like that character in the cartoons or at the circus that does the balancing plate act. You know the one? They have the plates like a bunch of them on sticks and their spinning all of these plates, balancing them and continuously adding more and more and more. I feel like that. I feel like I am deciding which ones I can allow to fall and hit the ground, crashing, so that the rest of them stay up. I feel like dropping them all and screaming “f^€|< this sh!+! I don’t want to do this anymore!” Like a child who just lost a game and throws a tantrum because “it’s not fair!” I feel like throwing things. I feel like hitting something. I am angry at everything and everyone that played a part in this very intense situation we are in. I feel like I am out of control of everything. I feel unable to focus and unable to keep going. I’m exhausted in every single way. I am so tired but unable to sleep. I want to take my mind off of this but I can’t find anything that doesn’t make me think of her. I want my dad. I want to fix it. I feel like sitting and waiting until I get the call that says I can come get her. I feel like I’m failing everyone because I am so wrapped up in this. I feel like I can’t keep going. I feel like at any moment I will be packing up to take up permanent residence in the dark place. I feel like the next person that tells me how strong I am or that I need to take care of myself might get stabbed in the eye with a pen. I feel like every muscle in my body aches with stress, fear and worry. I’m so tense. I feel absolutely powerless. I am trying so hard to stay strong. My every second consists of me forcing smiles and trying to laugh and pretend like I’m ok even as I boil and breakdown just beneath the surface. I feel like I’m faking every interaction. I feel like I’m not allowed to fall apart because then I’m not being the mom my kids need me to be or the partner that I’m expected to be. I need a vacation from reality, decisions, stress, life and just to be able to take a full breath, but I know that destination doesn’t exist. I feel like I am making this about me. This isn’t about me. I feel like I can’t have feelings or be in a bad mood. I am not allowed to be anxious or irritable. I’ve got to pick up the pieces and figure out how to keep living while one of my pieces is gone. It’s really the most difficult part, the moving forward. I just want to go to sleep and wake up from my nightmare and not have to ever, ever go through this again. Now tell me, did you really want the truth? That’s what I thought. I will stay with my standard answers and be as convincing as possible so I don’t worry you with my feelings and problems. I’m making it. Thanks for asking!