Next week I’m meeting someone who I haven’t seen since I was utterly lost and insane. Unfortunately, she saw me at my worst and after a particularly horrific incident, we mutually kept our distance. Happy birthdays, merry Christmasses and all the best for the new year.
Two years on, my hair is considerably longer and my mind almost entirely back in my possession. She has advanced in her job and acquired a boyfriend. I have lived at approximately 7 different addresses (it’s hard to keep count); she is comfortable in the same place, surrounded by friends and embracing veganism.
It’s time to reconnect, it’s part of my personal reintroduction to the world, but I wonder how to answer the how are you? question if it comes up. Not the initial how are you?, of course. That will be the standard fine or maybe not bad. Perhaps even good. It’s the later on how are you? that needs thought.
Because… how am I? Most days I’m fine. It’s a good patch and long may it last. There are some bad days and there are more frequent sad days. There are even the occasional good days.
I could just say that. Mostly I’m fine. I’m not there yet but mostly I’m OK. It’s probably the most sensible option. Keep it simple, stupid.
I fear I may run my mouth off, though. The flashbacks are gone (except for the odd nightmare), the sleep is still disturbed but I am unconscious and rested for longer periods of time, I am in control of the panic attacks now. I allow them to dominate for a minute or to at most. It gives me time to process and accept my feelings and distress before I wrest back control, wipe my eyes, reapply my make up and stop the shaking.
I am still depressed, but it’s milder now. There are moments of wanting to be dead (I won’t say that) and a general malaise of exhaustion and tiredness of life but there is no risk of leaping off a tall building these days.
There’s a fine line between honesty and too much information. I lost the balancing skill for a while; it’s time to see if I’ve got it back. If I can just say “Fine. I’m mostly fine” and leave it at that.