How are you?

This is the most dreaded question of 2016 for me. In fact until Oct of 2015, if anyone asked me, “How are you?” my response would be “Oh I’m doing great!:D” I have always replied like this to every ‘how-are-you’ question ever since I’ve started talking I think. My response might seem like my life was a breeze and I was high on weeds life. I can surely say that 50% of it is true. My life was not a breeze but I was always high on life. I have been bullied for scoring good marks, I have flunked more than once and many such horrible horrible things have happened but it just din’t seem to bother me much thankfully. Since the time I lost my dad, this ‘how-are-you’ question has been bothering me so much so that I stare at a blank wall and wonder what should I answer. Some replies never made it outside of my mind, it was processed painfully and encrypted in to “I’m OK” which mostly meant..
  • I feel like dying.
  • I hate this life and I don’t wanna be alive.
  • I wanna roll on the road and scream my lungs out.
  • I’m struggling but you won’t understand.
  • I’m feeling much better today actually.
  • My stomach hurts like crazy and heart is pounding.
  • Thanks for reminding that I’m feeling pathetic.
  • I’m missing my dad.
  • I really don’t know how I’m doing.
  • You can’t ask me how I’m doing, don’t you know I’m grieving. Should I wear a board saying I’m grieving?
  • Can you ask me a different question?
  • I’m anything but OK.
TheseΒ replies are finally out of my mind and I feel so light already. It was so painful that I couldn’t speak my mind out. I have slowly transitioned from a fake ‘I’m ok’ to the real ‘I’m ok’ to ‘I’m good’. So I’m getting there one day at a time and I really hope 2017 helps me to get there. Have a great week y’all!
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6 thoughts on “How are you?

  1. All of us grieve in different ways Aishwarya and it’s perfectly alright to be not okay. What helps me is a trashy movie or a good book with a full bottle of wine, preferably red. πŸ™‚

    1. I had a rough start today but talking to my friend and reading book helped a lot. And of course reading your blog too. πŸ™‚

  2. Aishwarya, this comment is going to be long.

    I’ve personally shared with you why I empathize with your story so much. I truly and genuinely feel for you. But this post was very perfectly timed, Aishwarya. Because just yesterday, I read what Elizabeth Gilbert (one of my personal heroes) shared on her Facebook page. I’m going to paste that here for both you and your readers because you brought up a very important point of grieving and responding to that everyday question while grieving.

    She wrote:

    Last week, I had to say goodbye to a great man named Ernie Marshall β€” who had been my accountant, my beloved friend, and one of my most trusted spiritual teachers for over 20 years.
    He was one of the most important people in my life, he passed away far too young, and I will miss him forever.
    I have a lot of stories about Ernie’s particular grace and light, but today I just wanted to honor his memory by sharing one of his teachings, which I hope will inspire you, as it has inspired me.
    For 20 years, every single time I called Ernie on the phone and asked how he was doing, he would answer: “Never better!”
    Every. Single. Time.
    It didn’t matter what he was going through β€” business headaches, sickness, stress, a death in the family, emergencies in the world…he would always say, “Never better!”
    Finally, a few years ago, it occurred to me to ask, “Hey, Ernie? Why do you always say that? Where did you get such an optimistic attitude?
    He said, “Well, Liz, here’s how I see it: Every single day has two miracles in it, no matter what else is going on. The first miracle is when you wake up, and realize you’ve been given another chance at life. The second miracle is when lay your head down to sleep at night, and you realize that you can now put all the day’s mistakes behind you. If you understand that you are always given AT LEAST those two miracles every single day, then you will realize that every day is a gift….and you will start looking for other miracles, elsewhere. And once you realize that every day is a gift, then you can always answer ‘Never better!’, when someone asks how you’re doing. Because it will always be true.”
    (Tell me, my friends…where shall I ever find an accountant like this again? One who REALLY takes a divine accounting of life itself…)
    We keep people alive within us by internalizing their wisdom and grace. My magnificent friend Richard from Texas used to respond, “Oh, it’s all gonna be alright,” whenever someone would ask him how he was doing. After Richard died, I adopted that practice, because it brings me strength, reminds me of Richard, and always makes me smile. But now I’m going to alternate my answer. From now on, whenever people ask how I’m doing, half the time I will say, “Oh, it’s all gonna be alright,” and the other half of the time β€” in honor of Ernie β€” I will say, “Never better!”
    Because I woke up this morning, didn’t I? And therefore I already received my first miracle of the day.
    Now I will go out there in the world with a full heart, and look for more miracles elsewhere, wherever I turn.
    What could be better than that?
    I really loved you, Ernie. You were one of the great ones. Thank you for everything. Rest in peace.

    I hope that helped πŸ™‚

    1. Whoa! Thank you so much for this, Ankita! You have no idea how it helped me align with my true self when I was feeling lost. :))) I’m so so glad that I found you and your blog! Lots of love! <3

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