I, like most of us, have this habit of being ‘fine’. When someone asks us how we’re doing we’re always just totally fine. It’s easier that way. Who wants to hear that you’re not? Who really cares? A good friend of mine and I have gone so far to as to use ‘I’m totally fine’ as a our secret phrase for when we’re completely 100% not, as a twisted way to find some humor in incredibly uncomfortable situations.
But after reading this a while back I’ve been mulling over the implication of always being ‘fine’.
My father recently went through some major surgery and leading up to it I was a bit of a mess but really didn’t want to deal with it. I was of the mind that if I didn’t give it much thought, give his tumor any power, then it wouldn’t amount to much. After he had come out of surgery I made a casual comment about it to my friends and they were not only floored that I hadn’t shared it with them in the first place, but also a little annoyed that I didn’t allow them to be there for me. Once they knew and were checking in on me I realized that I probably would have been able to deal with the whole situation way better if I could have told them, “hey guys, I’m not fine. I’m actually pretty scared.”
This whole ordeal has made me realize that it’s just as important to ask for help, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to you as it is to be that shoulder, that ear, that person of support. There’s nothing wrong with not being strong all of the time and there’s certainly nothing wrong with asking for help.
I’m not saying that you have to divulge your life story to every Barista at Starbucks who asks you how your day is going, but every now and again it’s ok to open up, especially to the people whose role in your life is to be there for those exact moments.