Is it bad that I was actually hoping for bad news? Well maybe not bad news, but just not good news. I didn’t want to hear that everything was normal. I didn’t want to hear that there wasn’t anything wrong and that we didn’t have a source for the problem. A few days ago, I went in for an appointment with my neurologist to go over the results of my blood work and MRIs and scans to see if there were any correlations with them and my migraines. I wanted answers. I sat on the parchment paper and heard the few knocks before the door opened, we shook hands, and he said the words “everything came back perfectly normal”.
My mom looked at me, completely relieved. But the look vanished from her face when she realized that the expression on my face didn’t match the expression on hers. “Everything is fine” he continued to say, “we’ll continue your prescription of X, Y & Z and I’ll write you a new prescription of Such & Such and we’ll see you back in a year”. Sometimes we say that “everything is fine” but in reality it’s not fine at all. Sure I may seem perfectly healthy and in fact my blood work and MRIs returned saying that I’m in exceptional shape, yet that doesn’t keep me from getting awful migraines at least once or twice a week.
The whole thought of it got me thinking: we always say that it’s fine. Sometimes we say everything will be fine when we know that it won’t be, just as a way to try and trick ourselves into thinking it will all work out. Sometimes we say everything’s fine when it only seems to be fine, and once again it’s a way of fooling ourselves. Sometimes we even say everything’s fine in our messed up, sarcastic tones to ignore the reality of our privileged lifestyles. And sometimes we say everything’s fine when we desperately want things not to be.
I see it happening more and more everywhere I go, everywhere I turn. Quoted tweets with ‘this is fine’ and upside down smiley faces. Now I’ll be the first to admit, the upside down smiley face is my most used emoji, and often times I’m the biggest offender of saying “it’s fine”. But even I can admit why I’m saying it. I’m not saying that the expression “everything is fine” or “this is fine” is an issue. But saying it as a means of coping with something or ignoring reality is a bit superfluous, especially when that means is unidentified.
Some people ever use the term as a means of undermining their own problems. I was having coffee with a dear friend of mine once when she told me that she often thought about taking her own life because of how depressed she was because of some medications she was taking. She immediately looked up at me and put on this half laugh/half smile and started exclaiming “it’s fine, really, everything is fine”. But everything wasn’t fine, and she knew that. It was almost as if to her, saying the words “it’s fine” was like taking away the words “I’m depressed”. But it doesn’t work like that, as much as we wish it could.
Because sometimes “Everything is/ I’m/ It’s fine” isn’t the same as “Everything will be/I’ll be/ It’ll be fine”