Stop Saying ‘I’m Fine’ If You Don’t Mean It

woman raising hand
Max Rovensky / Unsplash

We’re all guilty of it. It’s part of what makes us caring, compassionate human beings. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not the personality type that wants to or feels comfortable burdening another soul with my bad day, so instead, I smile bleakly, say “I’m fine,” and move on with my bad day affecting no one but me.

I smile. I smile even when I know I’m just a small boat about to sink.

I’m what my mother calls a “people pleaser,” and she’s called me that for longer than I can remember. I will never, ever admit to any struggles I’m facing. Not because I’m self-righteous or stubborn, but because I simply don’t want to ruin anyone else’s mood. If you’re on top of the world, I won’t be the one to bring you down.

But sometimes I want nothing more than to spill my soul out and let someone else pick up the pieces.

Sometimes I want to admit that I’m human with overwhelming emotions, and sometimes the weight of the world is crushing.

Sometimes I want to know that someone’s listening, even if it’s just for a little while.

So, when I see someone who needs a hug, I give it. I’ve got a few to spare.

I give it because I know what it’s like to not be okay. I know what lonely feels like, and I know how much I hoped that some stranger on the street on a random Sunday could see the hurt in my eyes. Because of that, I keep mine open. I look for the hurt, and I heal the best I can. I do it because I know how hard it is to swallow your tears and say those two painful words: “I’m fine.”

It’s okay. I know you’re not fine, and that’s okay too. You don’t have to be right now.

I know this hug might not fix things forever, but I hope it can calm you just for a moment.

Just breathe.

In and out.

Because one day, you will be able to say “I’m fine,” but this time, you’ll mean it. TC mark

Hannah Irelan

someone who speaks her struggles through words.

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