How are you?

it's just one of those social conventions.

someone says "how are you?", and you are supposed to say "fine". or more better, you say "fine, how are you?"

then they say "fine" and then, since everything's fine, the conversation moves on. or not. whatever. no biggie. except for me these days, it kind of is. a biggie, i mean.

i'm not sure if it's a bipolar thing or just some other way that i am fucked up that makes such a simple thing so hard for me. i bring bipolar into it because one of the ways this disorder has an impact on my life is that i am always checking in with myself.

how am i doing? how am i? is my blood sugar OK? am i responding appropriately to stimuli or am i over-reacting? am i sleeping too much? is anyone noticing? when did i last take my meds?

how am  i responding to the distinct possibility i'm never going to work again? how am i doing with the idea i'm never going to make any kind of contribution to the world again?

how's that loneliness thing doing? still OK with the fact that i'm probably not going to talk to - let alone see - anybody besides my mom and her dog again this week?

how am i? how would i know? even with all this checking in and monitoring myself and the meds and everything else, how would i know whether or not i'm "fine"? and even if i thought i was, the odds are someone else would not concur with my diagnosis.

the odds are if i thought i was "fine", anybody else would think i was heading into a manic episode.

how am i? i'm a lot of things, but "fine" isn't one of them. "fine" is something 'normal' people are, i guess. i don't even know what it means...

and the fact that i can't even respond appropriately to such an innocent social cue is all the proof anybody needs, including me.

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