Last weekend, I came home from a retreat, which was good. While getting back to the regular routine, a few people asked me in one way or the other, “Are you okay?” I think they asked me that question because I have either been silent or I haven’t been visible in a while, so they might have thought I was sad, angry, or some uncomfortable emotion. I am quiet most of the time, and I don’t want the spotlight on me on a regular basis, so it was strange to me to hear the question at the time.
I was fine, so in my mind, I was thinking, “are you okay?” I was concerned about them because they know who I am and how I behave. It bothered me, and I wondered if something happened or they had a guilty conscious or something. I did ask a person that question to see where their head was. I can be gone or silent for a week or more, enough for the Amber Alert to put my name up on television (not really). But I cannot see a person for a month, and not be worried, but after that I start to wonder. It seems like I have to poke my head out and say something to let people know I exist.
I have to learn to accept their concern. At one point I thought they asked me this question too late. I was thinking they should have asked me this question back in 2012, or when it was obvious that I shunned away from people. I wasn’t feeling right about myself then, and I’m glad I’m not going through that right now. Even though it’s a part of my behavioral DNA, I don’t want to go back to the old self, being withdrawn, because I was alone in a room of people. And there are folks like me who would withdraw themselves for various reasons (some positive) and much love to the people who check up on those folks because they need some social interaction.
I should address how some of us reply “I’m fine” when asked how we are doing. I would be lying if I said my life is going superb because I don’t use that word when asked about my day. We have days that are horrible, days that are terrific, and everything in between. Some of us had a life of tremendous struggle, yet walk around with a smile on our face. I want that hope and outlook, and I don’t think I had it that bad. Some of us over-exaggerate our experiences, and the sympathy can run low. So, when a person asks me how I’m doing, I’ll be brief and honest, knowing that my progress should slowly grow. I wouldn’t want any of us to lie about how we’re feeling.
I calmed down since processing what went on this week. It’s a good reminder to have compassion, and I have a hard time grasping that. What I will continue to do is ask the people questions to dig into their concerns. What I want to address is that although I’m thankful that they’re checking up on me, I am better off now than how I was a while ago, and that previous version of me needs/ needed affirmation and interaction. So, I guess I’m due for that session, starting now: I’m blessed beyond my comprehension, and knowing that, I’m okay.
And I’m Just getting started.