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‘Hello, how are you?’ people always say.
‘I’m fine, and you?’ I manage every day.
But the truth is that not all is well.
My real story is too long to tell,
and I am reluctant to share.
It isn’t that people do not care
that I live every day in nausea and pain,
but I really don’t like to moan and complain.
I wish that they just wouldn’t ask.
That I didn’t have to hide behind a mask.
They expect me to say that all is well,
so I don’t share my personal hell.
There’s a small group of people who know.
I have my support team and it’s there I go
to express my secret doubts and fears,
when my problems bring me to tears.
There are plenty of people in the same state,
who understand and who are so great
at making me laugh despite how I’m feeling.
Whose empathy and humour are so healing.
My public face is one of denial,
of hiding my woes behind a big smile.
So when you greet me with ‘How are you?’,
know that I’ll probably lie to you.
Reproduced by kind permission of Candace E. Barnes.
HELLO, HOW ARE YOU?
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