The Truth About “How Are You” For The Depressed

DISCLAIMER: I’ve had an incredibly tough few weeks so I figured this was a good time to schedule this post

This is a post painted in the broadest strokes with the most luxurious brush.

You don’t give a damn about how I am. You don’t. And I’d respect you more if you didn’t ask at all. Let me explain…

I don’t lie. I don’t sugarcoat. I don’t pussyfoot. I don’t say anything I don’t mean. If you cut your hair, and I don’t like it, I won’t join in with the chorus of sheep exclaiming “what a change!” or “I can’t believe you did it!”  Do you see how none of those are compliments? That’s because you look stupid and we don’t know why you thought the “Kate Gosselin” was for you. Absolutely no one understands.  But instead of filling the empty space of your hairdressing mental lapse with awkward exclamations of non-positivity, I will continue to read my book. Or eat my snack. Or walk away. I never want to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings so I’m not going to pretend like your Sonic the Hedgehog chic is on point.

Now, if your frost-tipped head approaches me and pointedly asks, “What do you think?” Like, the “how are you” question I’m about to explain, you need to be ready for the truth. “I don’t like it and I don’t know why you’d make this decision. Who are your friends and how did they let this happen?” That’s for starters.

NOW, back to the conversation at hand.  The dreaded “how are you.”

GIF - Liz Lemon

I’m rarely fine. I’m rarely ‘doing well’ unless you caught me after a breath-stealing sip of a particularly cold, carbonated beverage OR a freshly fried pile of bacon I’ve let tumble gingerly onto a Bounty’d covered dinner plate drizzled with syrup.  These are actually two of the ONLY times, you’ll get a universal thumbs up on the how-I’m-feeling-in-life scale.  And even that is rocky because your question interrupted the flow of flavours and fizz, so I may instantly hate you forever. I may counter your question with one of my own, “How dare you?”

In general, if I’m asked how I am, I will answer honestly with how I am. Because that’s how words work.

Humans: “Good morning, how’s it going?”

Me: *shrug with slight smile to acknowledge I heard them but don’t care to elaborate* (BECAUSE I KNOW THEY DON’T WANT THE TRUTH AND I AM TRYING TO SPARE FEELINGS)

Humans: “Ah! Good weekend then, eh?”

Me: “Nope.”

Humans: *head tilt* “That’s awesome!” 

WHAT?! You weren’t even listening to the conversation YOU started.  My other favourite situation is:

Humans: “Good morning, how’s it going?”

Me: *shrug with smile…blah blah blah*

Humans: “Ah! Good weekend then, eh?”

Me: “Nope.”

Humans: *sputter sputter* Automatically recoils and takes offence.

Somehow, I should’ve psychically realized they didn’t want to know how my weekend actually was. They just wanted to make idle chit chat OR they wanted me to ask them how THEIR weekend was, which I rarely do because I don’t care. I honestly don’t. I’m not trying to be rude, but if you went to your cottage/got a manicure with your mom/were proposed to/fell down a well…unless we’re family (this includes my closest friends), there is no less I could care. I have a black heart and you have to be hella important to work your way in.  But I digress…

I could be less abrasive; that’s not lost on me but I. don’t. care. At least not at this point of my life, I just want to live my life and listen to my music and eat my food and try to blend in……to the walls so you LEAVE ME ALONE.  My mood doesn’t change. I answer the same way, every time, every day of every week so stop being surprised when I’m still not “o.k.”

So if you want to know how a depressed person is and you ask them and they tell you the truth, “I stayed in bed all weekend because the weight of the world has taken up residence on my shoulders with no immediate plans to vacate despite my many gentle requests…” We aren’t saying these things as a cry for help or to get attention or make you uncomfortable, we’re simply answering the question. Because we’re unfeeling. Literally void of emotion so it doesn’t sound dramatic to us; it’s life.

If your only goal is to pass time while you settle in for the work day/forced to stand next to me on public transportation because we happened to bump into each other in the line to the bus and you see I’m not removing my ear buds, then just tell me about your weekend, let me smile in silence and let’s both agree that’s enough. We’re works in progress, just give us some time……to dethaw.

…..next week will be better.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Weekly Roundup - My Faves of the Week » AwesomeJennJenn

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