Mental health

An Unexpected Reappearance.

I never know what to answer when people ask me “How are you?”. From my side, I know that answering with the truth helps deepen the relationship with the person asking, but how do I know if that’s what the other person wants? Whether they are really interested in my answer?

Sometimes I feel I have to answer “fine and you?”. I just feel out of place blabbering on about myself without knowing if my interlocutor is actually interested. And I rarely perceive an interest towards myself. How do you understand when you should actually say how you are feeling and when you should just stick to small talk standards?

This is something I have been thinking about in the last days. Now I feel I have been asking myself the wrong questions. The right question would be: how am I answering myself? Am I telling myself how I actually feel?

I would like to feel entitled to feel bad sometimes, and even to talk about it. I think it would be more liberating and relieving to grant myself this right in a moment of discomfort. Instead, beside having a bad time, I also feel I’m a burden to others, and a source of negativity for the universe.

How can I get rid of a burden while I’m putting another one on my shoulders at the same time? And yet, being aware of this problem is not enough to solve it.

I had a feeling something was growing inside of me. I felt slightly anxious. I am anxious for the exam coming up in a few days, yes. I am nervous because of this stomach ache that won’t leave me alone, yes. But I felt there was something more, something I couldn’t describe or explain.

Tonight some of it came out. For a moment, that unjustified fear I thought I had gotten rid of came back. Something flashed before my eyes – a feeling, an image, I don’t know – and it was too fast for me to identify, but it was enough to scare me.

Something is trying to come up to the surface. I’m sure when it does I’ll feel better. I just wish I knew how to let it out. I just I could just squeeze my eyes, understand it and neutralize it. I wish it could all go away right now.

In the meanwhile, I think I’m doing better, or at least I hope so. Almost three weeks after going off medication, I’m proud to say that a significant part of me is even calm. I’m a different person than I was before. I’ll accept whatever comes. I’ll even welcome it. I won’t give anxiety the chance to just take control. I won’t make the mistake to blindly move my fists in the air again. I will welcome it in, let it talk, understand it, and then politely walk it to the door whenever it’s ready to leave. It’s not really a meeting I’m looking forward to, but I’ll accept it.

At least, I deeply hope that’s how it will go.


7 thoughts on “An Unexpected Reappearance.

  1. I’m from Europe but I visit the United States quite often. In the states, ‘Hi, how are you?’ is used as a greeting rather than an actual question, which throws me off every time. It made me realize that nobody really cares how we actually feel, and saying ‘I’m good’ makes me feel like a liar sometimes; to others but also to myself. It makes me feel like, to put it the same way you put it in your post, like I’m not entitled to feel bad.

    But we are entitled to feel how we feel, even if it’s hard to accept that. Great post, you have a great way with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a profound thought provoking post. In Canada “how are you” is very often used as a greeting. I really do appreciate when people are able to share how they are REALLY feeling instead of the typical “fine”.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I go with the first two commenters: it’s the way people greet each other. Yet I guess you did make quite a point yourself: it would make us feel somewhat strange to give a response like “I’m fine, thank you” when we know we’re actually not. 🙂


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