Saying What You Mean

I read a good MS blog this morning. Sometimes other writers can express feelings and emotions better while others (like me) can only stay silent and agree with them. In this case, the blogger quoted other writers that she has found whose words touched something in her. I guess that’s the fascination with trying to string words together to convey heartfelt feelings. Sadly, I don’t string my emotions very well, but I can appreciate those folks who do.

For example, I think it is that way with persons who have MS. When someone asks how we are feeling, we search for the right words to convey the truth without seeming to be too self-absorbed  or to be looking for sympathy. My go-to, stock reply is as follows: Friend asks, “How are you?” My reply, “Very well, thanks for asking.” This is my standard, if not 100% truthful, response. In reality I really want to say : “Terrible. I had a lousy night’s sleep, I think I’ve got a herniated disc in my back, I spilled a bowl of warm liquid Jello all over the floor while attempting to put it in the ‘fridge because my hand momentarily lost its strength, I can’t hold my newborn grandson for fear of losing my grip on him, because he, too, might end up on the floor, and I wish every day that it was 20 years ago, but other than that I’m fine…how are you doing?”

Needless to say, no one wants to hear stuff like that, even though it is what really is going on. So when you read about deeply felt emotions conveyed in an artistic way, and you stop and say, “Yes. That is how I feel, too. You get me!” you see words and their powerful force . No need for excuses or whining. You read of a kindred soul’s search for life’s meaning and it is humbling.

Putting all these lofty thoughts aside, however, the only trouble as far as I can see for me to adopt a more literary, artistic style is that I enjoy crabbing, if only privately. That is my truthful recitation. Instead of being stoic, I silently want folks to know all the miserable details. If I want to have any friends left, I will keep quiet and assume a Mother Teresa persona, and keep the whining to myself, because if I don’t my only listeners will be the cats and they probably won’t get too near me even to listen. They’ve seen (and felt) what I can do with a water bowl.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 17:20:11

    I feel the same way. My stock answer is always Good, thanks” to anyone asking how I am. I wish secretly that there was a way for others to feel briefly what it feels like, but at the same time I wouldn’t wish the pain and odd feelings on anyone. I feel bad that the only person I unload on is my husband and I hope that he doesn’t get tired of hearing the truth.

    Reply

  2. Meaning(in)Madness
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 22:29:14

    This made me smile. So often the go to answer is some generic version of “Good”. It’s a funny world we live in. When people ask how we are they may be genuinely concerned, but they won’t want to hear the truth all the time. Living in the world of a chronic condition definitely opens us up to realizing how damned well depressing it is to not be “good” all the time.

    Reply

    • Miss Jan's Words
      Oct 22, 2014 @ 06:46:27

      Having a chronic condition and realizing how much I hold back, I now truly want to hear the truth when asking someone how they are. The flip side is I get jealous when I hear that some folks really are “feelin’ great!”

      Reply

  3. Miss Jan's Words
    Oct 22, 2014 @ 06:37:53

    I think my husband feels he is helping me by being the person to catch all the flak. It’s when I cry that he gets the most upset. I think he prefers the rage and cuss words!

    Reply

  4. lissms
    Oct 22, 2014 @ 10:35:15

    I totally understand. There are very few people in my life that will challenge my “I’m ok” answer. And even fewer who I will actually answer honestly to.

    Reply

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