That’s one question that I can never truly answer. What does it even mean? For those without a chronic condition, mental health disorder or any long-term condition, it’s difficult. “Are you ok?” depends on many different things…
Are you ok?
My answer to this question depends entirely on the following; my mood, my pain level, the amounts of spoons (a theory of how to explain chronic pain/conditions to those who don’t understand what it’s like on a daily basis) I have left, but mainly who you are.
I can count on one hand, the amount of people that I give my honest answer to when they ask me “are you ok?” These people understand that if I say I’m ok, they know that there is either three follow up options. Yes I’m on a good day, or no I’m not ok, but just leave me alone. Or no I’m not ok I need to rant or cry or speak about what’s happening. It’s not that I don’t feel ok, I may simply be in too much pain or I am completely fed up of the pain. Explaining myself is difficult and on many occasions I may not be able to get the words out correctly -brain fog, a pain in the butt side effect of my EDS.
The next group of people who ask me, ask because they know of my condition, but don’t necessarily understand the full extent of my condition. This means that they are asking the general “are you ok?”. The majority of the time, these people don’t want nor care for the full answer. The easiest answer to these people is “aye, I’m fine”, despite 95% of the time this answer being wrong.
This all sounds that I don’t want people to ask me “are you ok?”, and I can tell you that this is not the case. I love the fact that people know, whether in detail or briefly, of my situation and still take the time to ask me; despite the answer which they may get.
Everyone’s definition of ‘ok’ will be different. As I write this now, I’m in pain… I’m always in pain. So to you this may not be ‘ok’, but for me this is. This is my day to day pain, a pain that can for the majority be resolved by my supports or pain relief.
95% of the time I am not ok. I’ve spent a long time, and will continue to grieve for the life that I could potentially have had, if I had not been diagnosed with a long-term condition.
However, despite this, I am ok. I’m now in a job and carrying out a degree for something that I have a true passion about. It may not have been the dream job, which for many years and still now would like to do. I’m on my third choice, it’s not a job that I would have ever thought about when I was younger, but I’m a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a reason. I’m in a job that I really enjoy, helping and caring for people, but mainly I’m continuing to learn; about audiology, myself, and life.
Am I ok?
Well yes, I suppose I am.