The slightly official looking disclaimer bit: This post is about physical illnesses, physical symptoms and limitations, not mental health. I wanted to put this in before the ‘read more’ bit as there are big differences between someone saying they’re ok in the two, at least from my experience.
I have to admit, having written that title and reading it back I do feel slightly like I’m reading a self-help book, sorry about that. I guess this topic isn’t specific to M.E., it isn’t even specific to people with chronic illnesses or illnesses in general as I guess everyone’s OK is relative to them. And there I sound even more like a self-help book.
Since having M.E. I find the ‘how are you?’ question harder to answer. It’s a simple question that comes up regularly and not one you really think about when you’re well, ‘I’m OK’ is an acceptable response and people just carry on with the conversation. Over the past ten years though I’ve found that some people don’t look like they believe me when I say it. I will admit, there have been times where I’ve said ‘I’m fine’ just to get someone to change the subject and move on rather than go into detail of how I actually feel if I were to reply something a bit more honest. That’s the word fine though, and for some reason in my head OK is a step up from fine. Don’t ask me why, I’m not sure.