That’s a question I get asked a lot, but rarely answer truthfully. I’m not saying that it’s anything bad, just that I think most folks just want to hear a polite “Fine, and you?” rather than what’s really going on in my life. I think we’re all like that. We just say “Fine” and go on about our way. Maybe out of courtesy to others? Maybe because we don’t want to or maybe are not ready to admit that we’re not OK?
I was reading a post on a gamer’s blog that I follow and something she posted struck me:
“I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to exist any more” sounds mild if you’ve never experienced it, but it is in fact a horrible, violent way to feel.
My friend didn’t post it, she reblogged it from someone, who reblogged it from someone else, who then reblogged it from someone else, and so forth and so on. I don’t know the original poster, but for a moment I remembered a time when I felt so much pain that I no longer wanted to exist either. And I sat here at my desk and broke down, my heart aching for her.
There was a point in time where I wished desperately to cease to exist. I wanted something to happen to me so that I would have an excuse not to fight any more. I simply didn’t see a reason to stay here.
I know what some of you may be thinking, but try to see where my head was at the time. In a span of days, I had lost everything that was important to me. My family, my job and livelihood. My parents were not speaking to me at the time. Fair-weather friends were silent, no longer returning calls or emails. Suddenly I was utterly alone — no longer wanted or needed. As I saw it, I had no purpose, and therefore, I was worthless. “I’m better off not existing,” I thought to myself.
I no longer believe this. I am not there now and haven’t been for a while. And I don’t want to ever go back. That is not a place I would wish on anyone to be in.
So how am I?
I always tell folks that I’m fine, or I respond with a funny remark. Some days it’s true, and I really do feel OK. Others, not so much, but I still sometimes keep it all in because I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with that. Old habits I tell ya, but I’m working on that.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky. I’m still here, and I’m fighting more than ever. I don’t want to go back down. But I have known folks who were not so lucky. The ones that lost their fight and never made it out of their dark place. I still mourn those lost souls and wonder how many others do I see every day and not know they’re suffering? Would they tell me if I asked them? Or do they think they need to be polite because I’m disinterested?
I ask you this: Do you ever ask someone how they’re doing and really mean it? Or are you just being polite?
When I was lost, I wished desperately for someone to reach out to me. Someone indeed did, and I’m forever grateful.
Perhaps we all need to reach out a little more …