This is something that we say often, and that is spoken about often in regards to the daily conversations we have with other people, asking us how we are doing. Now, I’m not saying that I reply w/ “I’m Fine” to everyone who asks, but there are some people that ask more out of being polite, then actually wanting to get into a conversation about it all.
Because in all honesty, what is “I’m fine” to us? To me, it means I’m having an ‘okay’ day. Is my MS still bothering me? Yes, it does everyday… but it just depends on how much it is bothering me that day. So if it’s a day that is what I would call ‘normal’ for me at least, yeah I will reply with “I’m fine.” Lets face it… we are never completely fine, well at least I’m not. I deal with multiple MS symptoms everyday… it just depends on how severe they are.
But in actuality… when someone is asking us how we’re doing, I think that more of a, “Hey what’s going on with you?” – Not a, “Hey how’s your MS today?” Lets face it, it would be exhausting to tell everyone how we are feeling in detail every single time they asked. I know that some people wouldn’t understand everything that I even explain, and it would tire me out to hear everything that is going on with me every single day. I already deal with it; I don’t like to voice it every day too.
So, I think that’s why the phrase, “I’m fine,” has become one of our most common phrases. Now, I don’t use it when I’m seeing a doctor, etc. I let them know what’s going on, because that’s where we can address anything that needs to be addressed, change medication, etc.
I don’t want people who actually want to know how we’re doing, to take the “I’m fine” as a blow off comment either. If we know that you actually want to know, and/or we usually discuss how our MS is… maybe at that time, we are just having a hard day or something, and just don’t want to voice everything that we’re going through. So please don’t be offended if you hear, “I’m fine”.
I think that we do at times, use it as a mechanism to see who actually does care. Because for those people who actually do care, or know us better than that, they will try to show their support, despite us telling you we are fine. I will text my best friend, asking her how she is doing… and she will say, “I’m fine” (she has MS by the way) and I will respond, “Yeah, and I’m a Victoria Secrets model, how are you really?” Because I know she is just saying it to not complain to me, because we know that we each have a lot going on with our own lives, but what are friends for anyways? But I always interject some humor into my commentary, when she tries to tell me she is ‘fine’.
I’m not trying to be complicated for anyone, when I say, “I’m fine”… I think I say it at times, out of routine, rather than really thinking about my answer. It’s kind of like, you say Hello, Goodbye, How are you, Love you…. “I’m Fine” is in my common phrase vocabulary. I can say it without even realizing I’m saying it. So please don’t take offense to me responding that way either.
I have also used it in a way to ‘filter’ out the people who actually WANT to know the truth of how I’m doing, and are doing it just to be polite. I’m not trying to be rude and ‘test’ friends… but I’m trying to make it easier on all of my relationships. So that I’m not overwhelming someone with how I’m feeling, when they may not be able to really handle my answer at that time. I get that.
Am I making any sense to y’all? Or am I just rambling? It’s hard to explain what I define as, “I’m Fine”… because if I was being completely honest, I’m not fine. I don’t have days where I’m not bothered at all by something that my MS has caused. Kind of like I explained in my recent article, “Is Your MS Bothering You Today?”
I love talking about MS and advocating for it, etc. But I have days where I just don’t want to talk to anyone… and I’m not trying to be rude or anything, I just get in certain moods where I like peace and quiet, on the outside at least. Because my brain never shuts up – so I have no peace from it obviously! When I’m in these moods, I tell people I’m fine, when they ask what is wrong. And that’s the truth… in the way they are asking it. They are asking it, thinking I’m upset and/or mad, but I’m not… I just get in these moods where I like to be quiet, and I don’t want to socialize… it’s weird? But it helps me. I can do things I want to do – not worry about socializing, etc. I can just sit here and play games, or read, or something… I know I’m probably not alone on that feeling either. I found a graphic that explained it perfectly too… I’ve added it below.
Anyways – this is, in some way, how I would define the phrase, “I’m fine”; because there can’t be a single explanation and/or definition for the phrase, because it varies from person to person, and in different situations as well.