The most common lie is “I’m fine”
I pulled the duvet back over my head and willed the day away, as I would many of the ones that followed. Sleep became an urgent matter of self-preservation in order to limit the hours I’d spend asking myself how much longer I might be able to keep my own inner darkness in check.
But yeah, I’m fine!
Like I just lost someone that I thought was going to be my ride or die. But yeah, I’m fine!
Dear you pretending to be fine because you don’t want to be looked at as weak…
Like everyone else, I’ve gone my whole life believing that I was perfectly fine. I flat out denied the possibility that I couldn’t do everything on my own.
Like in a country like Nigeria, as a woman, you need to have it all in control, everything depends on you, the yes or the no. you have to be strong so men wont ride over you. And as a man, you have to be a MAN! Don’t be a sissy or a pussy.
From an early age, like everyone else, I strove to be independent and rarely sunk to the level of getting people in.
I look happy. I smile a lot, so I must be fine. Right?
Dear you pretending to be fine because you feel your problems aren’t that bad?
But as I got older, I started to notice myself change, I started to get irritable. I was snappy to everyone. I started to get sad about things that didn’t warrant sadness. I stopped having reasons for my tears, but I let them fall anyway or sometimes, they don’t fall. I blamed it on stress.
I was fine, mehn….
Like I mean, I’m fine. It is one of those things, right? Like I’m fine, right?
I have mastered the art of appearing to be okay. And to what end? To make life more comfortable for everyone else. To protect them from the truth. Because, to really be authentic means that there would be a lot of garbage coming out: a lot of pain, a lot of anger, a lot of hurt. And I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt that they could handle it because, I have learned, sometimes they can’t. I have learned, sometimes, letting it out isn’t safe.
Like I mean, you can’t trust anyone, right?
On the other hand, I’ve seen movements to “live bravely”, “live vulnerably”, “and live authentically”. But with all of the applause we give to people who act bravely or vulnerably or authentically, do we actually care about them? Do we really care about their stories and their impact? Or, do we prefer that they share-as if sharing is some sort of trust-fall exercise –and then hope that they’ll move on with their lives?
Our culture is gluttonous for happy endings. Like I want to meet one true love and get married. I don’t want to have to go through heartbreaks. I want to graduate and get a great job. I want to have the perfect kids and the faithful husband. In the end, we desire that things be “okay”, that a person magically bounce back, that they become normal again after living through trauma.
Dear you pretending to be fine because everyone around you is struggling?
Like when I lost those I thought were my best friends forever to the excuse of “I’m bad at checking up on people”
Well, bounce back, girl. They are a few among the billions. Be strong. They can’t see you cry. It’s just a phase.
Like when I realized I had enough with a fuckboy, I walked out. Something I should have done earlier. But after all, I still walked out, right?
I’m only human after all.
But, the truth is I’m not fine
We are not fine like we say.
We can’t be that normal people again. We can’t go back in time and erase the trauma. We can’t cure whatever mental illnesses.
What can we do?
Well, all we can do, is do our best to cope. For the Christians, we turn to God. For the Muslims, Allah. For the free thinkers, philosophies and the likes. And for every other category, some beliefs in a supposedly superior idea.
Dear you pretending to be fine because you feel like no one understands
Let’s take a moment here. Imagine you are free. Free from everything-school, work, and family. Mention it
Just take a moment.
What if we didn’t pretend? What if every time we are asked how we feel, we say it exactly like we feel. Not how good it can look or how non-pathetic it can sound?
What if we let out a little more of that shit that we carry around out?
Obviously, we are not going to share our whole lives’ stories with everyone- that is not the point, and as I’velearnt actually, isn’t always safe and appropriate.
But what if we stopped pretending around one more person? What if we decided to be more authentic around one more person, and were more honest with them about our struggles, our history, and our worries?
As crazy as life is, there is that one person in our lives that feels safe to us. We can be a little more honest with them.
That’s a challenge to us all
And please let’s drop the face of “I’m being real”
Come on, people. There’s this new trend of people being savage and so emotionless. “Well I’m not afraid of anyone” “I can say or do whatever I want”
The pretense of made up confidence.
Come on, people. You’re not fine. You know it. Deal with it.
Don’t twisting the idea of “I’m fine” “I won’t let anything get to me”
Come on, you’re human.
It’s okay to not be okay.
It’s fine to not be fine.
Yes you, the one pretending to be okay when inside you’re trying with everything you have to hold it together.
It’s okay to not be okay.
You don’t have to pretend everything is fine.
In fact, you shouldn’t.
If you continue to keep your struggles inside, it will continue to not get better.