'How are you feeling?'
How are you feeling? I hate that question. I dread that question. I avoid that question. Maybe I need that question?
So, I walk into the kitchen and you ask cheerfully “how are you feeling”. Right now, I actually feel anxious and scared. I don’t want to tell you that though, because I don’t want to be that person. Also, I don’t want to bring your mood down. I can detect the hope in your voice and I don’t want to disappoint you. I don’t want to pretend today either. Some days I can pretend but I don’t feel up to it today. Anyway, you know when I’m lying and I know you know. The lie hangs between us like a door that neither of us wants to push on.
So, I avoid the question instead and have a go at you, for not putting your breakfast bowl in the dishwasher. Poor you.
Some days when you ask me that question, I do actually feel ok - good even - but I don’t want to tell you that either. I don’t know how long this will last and I don’t want to get your hopes up. I especially don’t want to hear you say “oh great, maybe you’re getting better now”. I’ve told you before that it doesn’t work like that but you don’t get it. I hate it when you watch me. Analysing my mood. I feel exposed and under pressure to be ok. I want to be ok. I’m trying to be ok. Just give me some space and time.
So, I don’t want you to ask me how I’m feeling anymore, right? Not right. If you stopped asking. I would worry that you didn’t care anymore, that you’ve had enough of this stupid illness, that you’re going to leave me. That would be worse.
You often comment that you don’t know what is the right thing to say. Well I don’t know what to tell you because I don’t know either. Just be there and keep trying and I’ll keep trying and I think we’ll be ok.