“How are you?”
Usually, there’s a perfunctory, “Fine. How are you?”
And the answer to that one?
And the conversation moves on.
But if you have a chronic illness, you probably have found yourself thinking inside, “No, I’m lying, really. I’m not fine.” or, “I’d like to really say how I feel, but he/she probably doesn’t want to hear the truth.”
So, what do you say?
For me, I try to break it down a bit. Often, I respond, “Spirit-wise, I’m great. But healthwise…” or, I might say, “You know, above all, I’m blessed.”
With very close friends and family, I’ll probably go into more detail, especially if I’m in the midst of or fresh from a flare or other health crisis. But with strangers, well, I admit I do fall into the “Fine, thanks, and you,” protocol more often than not.
Some languages do have “set” rituals of greeting. I remember when I studied Irish Gaellic, I marveled at the back and forth exchange that took place before a conversation started. It went something like:
“Good day. God be with you.”
“Good day. God and Mary be with you.”
“God and Mary and Joseph be with you.”
Now, as someone who carries the “baggage” of a chronic health condition, I realize that we lupies and others have our own ritual, individualized, of course, depending upon with whom we’re speaking.
It’s truly like speaking a whole other language, I suppose. One that takes a lifetime to get just right!
Blessings for the day,