“How are you feeling?” You ask me.
How am I feeling? The words echoed in my head. “I’m fine.” I say, not looking up. It’s an automatic response, I’m full of them.
A question like that really shouldn’t be so complicated, should it? If I think about how I’m feeling, it’s never quite so simple as “good”, or “fine” or even “bad”.
At any given point of the day – any day – I’m just a bundle of mixed feelings. I always feel like I’ve done something wrong and like I’ve done something right; guilty, yet righteous. I feel excited, I feel happy, I feel scared, I feel sad, I feel tired, I feel alert, I feel smart and I feel dumb.
I’m feeling everything. I’m feeling confused.
I guess the proper response would be to say whichever one I’m feeling the most and right now that would be sad. But I’m not ready to get into that with you. You’ll ask me why and I won’t have an answer for you.
“Why are you sad?” You’ll ask me.
“I don’t know.” I’ll tell you.
That won’t be good enough. You’ll think I mean that I don’t know what’s wrong with me, or why I’m sad. That will frustrate you, rightfully so.
But what I really mean when I say “I don’t know” is “I don’t know how to explain it to you. I don’t know how to show you. I don’t know how to help you understand what I don’t fully understand. I don’t know how to just tell you. I don’t know how to cope. I don’t know how to make my problems easier on you.”