Saying “I’m fine” when you’re not and what you can do instead

I spoke to someone recently who said – I keep saying I’m fine until eventually I’m in the fetal position on the ground.

I could SO relate to this.

I am queen of ‘I’m fine’.   When I’m not.

The ‘I’m fine’ is what lead to my own nervous breakdown 10 years ago.

Recently, I was trying to help my friend with her kids and I could feel her rejecting help and saying it’s ok I can manage. I turned round and said – you are talking to the queen of ‘I’m fine’ and then I need to go home and lie down because I am anything but fine. We laughed and I was allowed then to help her.

When you’re saying I’m fine – what you’re actually saying is:

  • Don’t judge me
  • I’m scared to admit what I’m really feeling
  • I don’t know how I’m feeling because it’s overwhelming
  • I’m just holding it together and if I let down this veneer I’m scared I’ll collapse
  • It’s easier to say I’m fine than let you know how I am
  • I’m not allowed to show feelings
  • I’ve checked out mentally – I’m on auto response mode

It’s often a protective shield that you’ve had to develop over the years for whatever reason.

I reckon 110% of you will have said at times you’re fine when you’re not.

But why do you continue to strive on being fine when you’re not? Until the point of collapse?

I’ve been working in the mental health field for the last 9 years.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

That the women who eventually end up burned out, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed are not the weak women… it’s the women who have very strong strivers and protectors and say ‘I’m fine’. It’s the strongest women. Not the weakest women.

The issue is that many of you are struggling, but functioning. You can get through your day to day life ‘fine’ but you’re not exactly having a lot of fun or thriving.

And you keep functioning with the I’m fine… until eventually you can’t keep going and your body takes over.

Over the years, however, I’ve learned that it takes strength to ask for help, to seek support, to overcome the stigma that you can’t move on on your own.

It’s clearing the beliefs that you’ve got about what’s right or wrong and realising it is SAFE to seek support and help.

That you don’t need to get to the point of collapse, breakdown, burn out before you do.

What will support you….

  1. Journaling – spend as much time as you can – 15 minutes minimum letting your pen free flow and getting clear on what’s going on inside your head
  2. Identify what support might help you – is it practical support in the house? Childcare? Support at work? Time off? Emotional support? Something else?
  3. Get clear on what helps you in life and what makes it worse… Enough sleep? Water? Eating well? Alcohol? Tea and coffee consumption? Exercise? Chatting to a friend?
  4. What can you do that makes you feel happy and fulfilled?

I know for me what helps me is boundaried time to journal, EFT, get to yoga classes, hydrating, sea swimming and sometimes when I’m in the thick of it – going to see someone to get me unstuck from my thinking.

If you would like me to help you, then send me a message and I can make some suggestions for you to consider.

Much love, Tricia xxx


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