"Oh. I was hoping you would just say 'Good' then we could get on with our day."
"So how are you?"
"Good. I mean… Well, not really good. I'm ok. Actually no I'm not."
It's refreshing but it costs you something. It costs you your pride. It costs you in lies that cannot be told, truth that must be revealed. It costs you your cover-up, your mask, your makeup. It is a shallow price to pay, but it hurts bitterly in the cold when all is revealed and you find yourself on the bottom when you used to be on top.
That's where you find yourself. Humble.
The problem is there's nowhere to hide! When you've been told to stop lying, to humble yourself and give it up. Give up that act.
The lies are that you've got to be ok to do anything good. That if you tell someone where you're really at, they're going to judge you. That you're tired of being the invalid, the one who's not ok. That you don't want to be a burden. You want to help others, not be the one in need of help.
I want to be well, and well what am I going to do about it? I'm going to speak truth. That I'm not ok. Their reaction? Peace. Kindness. Friends that are going through what I'm going through.
And as the window opens and the curtains part, the smallest sliver of light peeps through in the darkness.
Light has come to the lonely.
So how are you?
This is how I am.
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer learning to be honest.
Grace Mathew's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html