Is I’m Fine The Biggest Lie Of Our Generation?
I’ve been caught up in my feelings lately. The reason isn’t that different from what most people go through. From being in a troubled relationship to me seemingly struggling to make ends meet straight down to me still living under my father’s roof at the age of 25. I have a gazillion of worries. These are things that have been plaguing my mind like an Ebola infested nation lately yet I know I am required to wear this surgical smile like the Joker in Batman and chorus I’m fine whenever I’m asked ‘How are you?’. I imagine there are thousands if not millions like me out there.
PS. I am not depressed and I am not experiencing any signs of depression. I’m just at a point where I feel like my country, priority reform might be needed. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.
Okay back to the matter.
It’s a stereotype but I’ve never really thought it was an issue worth addressing until I started watching this series ‘13 Reasons Why’. Kudos to the writers for the creative work put into it and netflix for bringing it to us the viewers.
The series follows the journey of a depressed young girl who was a victim of bullying and neglect. She committed suicide but prerecorded a cassette tape where she narrates her ordeals as a teenage girl. She sent the tape to everyone who negatively impacted or could have positively impacted her life before her ultimate decision that enough was enough and she’d seen enough.
Using this movie series as a theme, I’ll be addressing the issues of depression and bullying. Bullying will come in a later post.
The part that prompted this write-up was a scene where her mom was crying after her death and her dad came to console her. She said painfully, “How did we not know? How did I not know she was in pain? And she was right here, how did we not know she was in pain”?.
Then they smartly threw in a throwback of a time when a conversation about what she was going through with her mom might have changed her outcome, but instead they discussed about Valentine’s Day.
Most people are usually scared to discuss critical issues about themselves especially with parents. Maybe they fear people might perceive them as weak or they might not understand or they’d just straight up dismiss them as not serious. I have a friend who says he can’t talk to his parents about his issues because he fears they’d make it a stigma.
The Dad then chipped in with a brilliant perspective which got me wondering as well. He said “We can’t only blame ourselves or be looking for signs everywhere”.
I agree with his perspective. In most societies, it is becoming increasingly hard for people to confide in one another. So most people are known to freestyle their decisions and problems. That mentality of it’s my problem, I can solve it on my own is the motto of people these days. These types of people become so good at hiding their pains over time.
My friend once joked that it’s no wonder problem solving is usually one of the first skills penned into a CV.
But can you blame people though? A friend on my Snapchat who became outraged because her friend leaked their conversation with another friend once said, “a problem shared is usually a problem gossiped about”. And she is right. I’m quite sure this is what most people have in mind when they self coin themselves independence thinkers.
This is why so many people with signs of depression would rather keep mute about it than discuss the cause of their depression with anyone. But really, the first road to the treatment of depression is to talk about it. Find a listening hear and talk about it.
Yet the truth is, there will always be certain issues that are better shared and discussed than keeping it to ourselves. And then hoping it’d self mitigate and things will change. If you can’t talk to friends, there are professionals out there, seek them. Although if you live in a country like mine, it might be difficult. A country where more than half of the millions of people can’t brag to know at least one counselor or psychologist, that won’t work. It’s the reality of the world we live in.
Thankfully some people have stood up on social media like ‘JoroMofin’ and ‘Break or Make Up’ on instagram and they are making a difference. Create a customized post and send it to them. Let them repost it . Go through people’s reactions then take the ones you feel would make you better from them. Although hostility will be present at times but take it in good graces. The biggest plus is that you’re anonymous and it’s totally free.
My friend, Abiola said he has 9 people suffering from depression and regularly confide in him on his Whatsapp. I have about 4. Even those people surely must have friends and family who would ask them ‘how are you?’ and they’d reply “I’m fine”.
Truth is, we all have needs as people and we tend to get caught up in our selfishness more often than not. But we must never forget one of our primary objectives as humans, which is being there for one another.
Let’s make ourselves receptive towards one another and always lend a listening ear. Let’s not listen only when it comes to gossips. At times what you have to say doesn’t matter but them having someone to talk to could be all that matters.
So when next someone tells you ‘I’m fine’ or ‘I’m okay’ please ask them if they are really sure. Try to look for patterns that might prove their claim otherwise. Depressed and unhappy people exhibit symptoms no matter how hard they try to hide.
The phrase “I am fine” is fast becoming the usual lie of our generation and sadly we all say it everyday. It’s our generic response to pleasantries.
Did you just ask how I am? I’m not fine. Have you left a comment? 🙂