Um yes. So. I have a cough. Splutter splutter. And a cold. Snot snot. But enough about my revolting bodily functions.
How are you today?
In my life BBD (before black dog) my answer to that question was always, "FINE!" In a very shrill kind of 'dont you dare ask me any more questions' way. I can even see my uncomfortable expression too, wearing my mask of a forced tight smile. Yuk. I won't be going there again. No thank you.
But its so hard isn't it? When you have pretended that you're OK for so long, you think if you tell the truth you'll look weak, or even more of a failure.
I can tell you now, that's not true.
If you're not fine, please don't say that you are.
I know how scary it is to say that you feel numb, confused, paranoid, insecure, stuck in a black hole, consumed with suicidal thoughts. But I also know how much better my life has been since I took off my mask and told the truth.
You might scream, you might cry, you might say nothing. You might say, "I feel fucking shit actually". And if its the local postman asking how you're doing, you may give them a slight shock on their morning round, but I promise its better to let it out. You just might not get your letters for a little while....Ha. I jest of course!
Lets rid our conversations of, "I'm OK" and "Fine thanks" or "Not bad" or even worse, "Alright".
Oh how dull.
Let us embrace some new phrases....like....
"I've just taken my first anti-depressants so I'm feeling like I might throw up any minute" or
"I'm really anxious about today's meeting and I can't stop farting" or
"Well, I feel OK now because I just counted to 17, 3 times after locking the back door" or
"I'm so scared, can you stay in the house with me this evening"
"I just ate something other than marmite on toast for the first time in 3 days, I'm so pleased with myself!
(By the way, I havent just randomly made these up, they are all answers that I could of given in the past 2 years.)
So let us all take a challenge, next time someone asks you how you're feeling, tell the truth. Whether it be good or bad, just let it out. One things for certain, there will definitely be some interesting conversations out there.