How are you?

Such a simple social question between strangers, friends, co-workers.

How. Are. You.

Do they want the truth? Probably not.

Shit. crappy. sucking, i’m holding in the rage, i’m barely hanging on, i’m on the verge of tears…. not the best way to start a day or five days with a co-worker you’ve never met. But saying “i’m fine” feels like a big fat lie.

You’ve said “i’m fine”or  “doing well” before… well, before lying didn’t seem to be a big deal. Because you were lying about being fine because you were tired, felt bloated, or just hated the world that day or that moment. But now saying “i’m fine” seems impossible. And very, very wrong. How can you ever be fine. As a suicide loss survivor, our definition of “OK” has changed. A member of my support group was shocked she said “i’m doing well” in response to the dreaded question… she got upset, because, for a brief moment, she meant it. How the hell did that happen.

But then i remember – i’m still here. We are still here. so as far as things go and compared to the first few hours or days after John left, i am doing well.  Sometimes, i am angry at being “fine”, for doing well , or for being OK.. How dare i. how DARE i be “OK”… i should be crumpled up in the corner, i should be weeping uncontrollably.  i should want to die. I was, for a very long time, and i still do.  I always will be. Another  part of me is standing in front of you, smiling, and she is fine. Those two women inside of me don’t understand how to co-exist yet, but they are learning. The sobbing crumpled mess wins on many days, still.  The OK girl has, thankfully, been able to time those events, but not control the intensity.

I still have blame, guilt, anger (that’s recent) and i have loss, emptiness, and despair  – not feelings you’d put under the “fine” or “OK” file. But my filing system has changed tremendously. It has adapted. I recall a part of John’s goodbye note to me where he said that i would heal. I would move on. i would find the life i deserved. What the Fuck, John!? YOU and only YOU were the life i deserved. How could i even imagine walking, eating and forbid – LAUGH one day without YOU.

But there came i day i laughed. And i breathed without thinking about his last breath. And i still miss him more than the world could ever quantify, but i laughed. Part of what i loved about John was that he was always so positive. He laughed SO MUCH.  he smiled so much. I was in the dumps one 40 something birthday about how old i was getting and i asked him regarding a road trip we were to take and i was concerned about my gloomy state “what if i get into a funk?” His answer: ” just don’t get into a funk, babes!”.

So amazingly simple. such wonderful advice from a heart and mind so fragile. He found answers for me all of the time, yet couldn’t find his own. He was so smart, so intelligent on so many levels that i knew i’d lose at Scrabble every time we played. His prediction of me “healing”  might be a bit far off – as i don’t believe i will ever fully heal. I know i won’t. But he was right, in that i’d one day “move”… i’m not moving on, but i’m moving.  He was so smart. He was usually right.

How are you?

Still no fucking clue.

Gotta run.

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