Posted by: Shira Danin | October 25, 2009

A Simple Question – A Complex Answer

question“How are you?” “What’s up?” “What’s going on?” etc.

These questions are so banal, they are as integral to starting a conversation as the word “Hello/Hi”.

In different conversations, people get to the point so quickly , they don’t really expect or provide an answer to this question.

I guess that makes sense.

I’m not sure the askers are even interested in an actual answer.

However, I feel, when talking to the people close to me (the ones aware of my fibro), are interested in hearing my answer.

I’m sure everyone, myself included, would love to hear a positive answer, such as: ” great” “awesome” “perfectly fine” etc.

Sometimes it is so hard NOT to give that answer, I want to make my close friends and family happy…

Since when growing up the worst sin I could commit was lie (lying is wrong), I don’t really give the normal banal answers (they’re just not true).

So when I answer, it comes out: “as usual”, “so so”, “ahh” and so on. Many times I just say “ok”.

Then it’s their choice (my conversation partner’s): they can notice my intonation and ask “why such a gloomy ok?”, or continue with the conversation and skip discussing my physical/mental state.

I’m not sure what I prefer.

Usually when I say “ok”, and am asked why I sound like this, I just blow off the topic and say ” you know, same old fibro pain, nothing new….so how about you?”

I think my way of response stems from two separate thoughts, different dosage each time:

  1. I don’t want to bum everyone out and provide reason to worry about me
  2. I’m too tired to talk about it. I don’t feel like explaining.

So maybe it is better not to get into the whole fibro fun in every conversation.

On the other hand, if no one is interested I can get disgruntled. Sometimes I do want to talk about it. Sometimes it is so important for me to hear over and over how much the people around me support me and are proud of me for coping.

I do not have an answer.

But it was interesting and I wanted to share my way of looking at this common question “How are you?”

It used to be easy to answer…

So many little things change when you have fibro 🙂

Unrelated to the post, I wanted to thank everyone that responded to my recent post.

I was touched and it was very good for me. So Thank You!



  1. I feel the same way. Do you really want to know how I am or are you just asking to be polite? I have slowly been able to figure out those few people in my life that really want to know how I am and who I can share with regardless. There are not many I can do that with though.

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