We all have our moments where if someone asks us that, our initial response is ‘yes’ because that’s a response that doesn’t require a worried/concerned follow up. No one bothers someone after they’ve answered that way because that answer sums up words that don’t need to be said out loud. The truth is there’s a lot under that ‘yes’, and if your anything like me, you can share in the weight of it. These are my concealed thoughts to that question in different situations.
1. When my manager asks me if I’m okay
It’s clear that this was asked out of pure human concern for my well being, but if you see me dripping with sweat, wreaking of fried chicken and garbage, with a garbage bag slung over my shoulder, what do you think? My feet hurt, my face is in pain from smiling, my calves and thighs ache from constantly squatting on the floor to pick up wrappers and things, and I’m just plain old tired. . . .no, I’m not okay. . . .
2. When I’m on my cycle, and my dad asks me if I’m okay
I get that you are worried that I might hurt you or anyone else within 1 foot of me because my mood is all over the place, but don’t ask me if I’m okay. I’m cramping like my body’s contemplating self termination. I have no concept of time because nine times out of ten says I just got up because I was in bed cringing all day. There is a literal sea of red coming out of my body that I have no control over. Don’t suggest medicine, don’t suggest food, don’t ask me when it’ll be ‘done’. Ask God that question. He’s the one who gave me this ‘really cool’ physical alarm clock anouncing I’m not having babies every month through a series of terrible events. I love you. . .but please think about what it would be like for you to experience this and rethink the question you asked. I’m not okay.
3. When my brothers and sisters hop all over me and ask me if I’m okay
I was drawing something and you invaded my personal space. You’ve been coming in and out for the past 5 hours asking me what I’m doing when you can see what I’m doing in plain sight. You’ve made me mediate 5 arguments because you can’t ignore one another and you complain about being hungry despite being old enough to make whatever processed mess there is in our pantry. Then , you get all happy and jump all over me. . .no, I’m not okay.
4. When my mom asks me if I’m okay
This one is unique depending on the mom you have, but with me it’s one of the few times I release everything:
Nobody likes me at work, and I don’t want to seek validation because I shouldn’t care, but I want people to like me. I spilled a tea urn and my manager almost killed me. I think the food there is making me sick and I think I’m getting fat too. I’m tired and I miss you and all I can think about is pizza. . . .
Those were the only four I could think of, but I’m sure there are more. That simple ‘yes’ holds more than you know . . . . .