Ask me how I am and I’ll probably lie to you

26 Apr

“I’m fine.”

We all say it. We all are usually fudging a bit when we say it. Me? My pants are on fire when I say it, and yet I’ll still say it.

“I’m fine.”


I’m not fine. I’m stressed. Okay, I’m beyond stressed. Stress begets stress. Anxiety begets anxiety. Depression comes along and says “Hey, can I join the fun?” Because who am I kidding? I probably am depressed. Considering that Seattle has just broken a 122 year record for most amount of rain and a severe lack of sunlight, my depression has a nice covering of moss.



actual picture of Seattle-ites just hanging out


It’s been so bad, my husband brought up moving to Austin, Texas and I actually considered it. And I loathe hot climates.

But here I am, curled up in a semi-fetal state, growing moss, and I’ll still say “I’m fine!” if you ask me how I am.

I lie.

I lie because admitting anything else is just not in my playbook. We were raised not to whine or fuss or carry on or whatever the phraseology was 35 years ago. We suck it up, tough it out, and most of all, don’t complain.

I lie because I have to keep functioning. Because I don’t want to be fetal, and, more honestly, Maura’s not going to take care of herself. I mean, she could. But that’s how she ends up eating chocolate cake while wearing her sister’s choir concert dress. Not that that’s happened….this week….

I lie because honestly, rehashing all the ways I’m tired and stressed and anxious isn’t my idea of a good time. I’d rather talk about anything else.

Don’t worry though, I have trained professionals I can rehash to. Because I may lie to everyone around me, and maybe to myself for a while, but I can admit when it’s time to get help.  Granted, that time was mid-panic attack which landed me in the doctor’s office three hours later, and when the nurse said “How are you doing?”, I said…

“I’m fine.”

And then I laughed and said “Wow, that was such a lie.”

So no, I’m not in a great place. But I’m in a place, and it will get better, and at some point, “I’m fine” won’t be a lie. Just like this horrible winter season, the sun will eventually break through. Even if it means I buy a time share in Hawaii to find that sunshine.





7 Responses to “Ask me how I am and I’ll probably lie to you”

  1. Angel of Anthropology April 26, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    I’d say check out Cuernavaca Mexico, but I am not certain you would want to travel that far and of course I am unsure of the type of medical support they have here.
    I was born and raised in Seattle and I’ve always loved it, rain and all. I’m one of those strange ones whose mood actually improves with rain. I am glad you do realize when “I’m fine” is a lie and do not kid yourself as so many other people do. In the immortal words from ‘The Crow’ “It can’t rain all the time.” Of course they probably have never spent time in Washington, much less Seattle!

  2. nanis April 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    Life is not always easy, even for those of us who take care of business and appear to just carry on, no matter what.

    Take some time for yourself if you can, get a pedicure and a haircut, or go out to lunch sans children. Good luck.

  3. Darcy Pennington Arnold April 26, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    Oh, Phoebe, right there with ya! Only problem? I’m in Colorado (300 days of sunshine a year). So I don’t even have an excuse for my lie of being ‘fine’. Just stuck in my head, though I have tools I need to get out of it. No excuses, just too tired to fight and too tired to say anything except I’m ‘fine’. Definition of FINE ‘ F’d up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional’. Yep, I’m FINE’.

  4. figspowart April 26, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    They do say stoicism is linked to climate Phoebe! That’s why the Scottish are so grimly dour – they’re used to being rained on all the time. When I get to this stage I call my sister, announce that ‘everything is sh**t,’ tell her why for 15 minutes or so and then I can can carry on telling everyone else ‘I’m fine’ for the rest of the day! Good luck and hope the sunshine comes soon

  5. Wedgwood in Seattle History April 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Thank you for a good laugh! You are right, we are being rained to death and losing our minds, but we are thereby provoked to good blog posts! And we are supporting the world coffee economy.

  6. Widdershins April 26, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    If only those clouds would stop insisting on raining every, single, day. Even when the sun does come out, it rains! And when I do go out in the little bit of sunshine that gets through, I get sunburned because my skin’s not prepared for end-of-April sunlight intensity.
    It’s a plot I tell you!
    May your ‘I’m not fine’s’ turn into ‘I’m fine’s’ soon. 😀

  7. Ang April 29, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    I know these feelings too well. I hope you reach a better place where “I’m fine” is true soon.

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