When I was a little girl, and I was playing with my brother and his friends, and things got a little rough and I fell, they asked me if I was okay; I wanted to be tough, so I said "I'm fine".
When I started high school and I met one of my best friends, I also realized how hard people find it to connect with others. You know how it is; everybody desperately wants to connect with people but everyone is so fake at that age that sometimes it feels like you're not connecting at all, ever. I spent four years watching one of my closest friends struggling to feel connected; struggling to feel happy; struggling to feel loved. On her bad days, I would gently ask her how she was feeling. She'd say to me, "I'm fine".
When my brother got bullied growing up, and then when we were in highschool and he kept getting bullied, I worried about him. He would get himself into trouble as young boys often do, but I've always seen him as a kid with a good heart. He loves people, and wants to be accepted (don't we all?). On his bad days, I'd ask him if he was okay. He'd say "I'm fine".
When my grandmother was sick, she came to live with us. It was really hard on my mom, who was looking after me, my brother, her mom, and running a business. She never let it break her though. I know she was stressed, and of course it hurts watching your parent crumble in front of you. On her bad days, I'd ask her how she was doing. She'd say, "I'm fine".
When I was in my second year of university, I was a full time student working 20 hours a week - basically pulling 15 hour days all week and trying to stay on top of homework. As so often happens, the stress got to me and I developed anxiety. For two weeks I could barely get any work done because starting anything made me shake. I would do my shifts while holding back tears I didn't understand the source of. On my bad days, my friends would ask if I was doing okay. I'd say, "I'm fine".
In this world the biggest lie we tell is that we're fine. We are desparate to be loved, anxious about money, tired from our jobs that work us too hard for too long without giving us room to live happily, wishing we could escape reality; we binge eat while we binge watch, we don't have the energy to exercise, we use tinder to meet people for one night stands because real emotional intimacy is daunting to a millenial generation of trust-issue-ridden children.