We've all seen the jokes floating around e-mail and Facebook about how when a woman says, "I'm fine." it really means quite the opposite. And as much as I hate to admit this, for me at least, there's some truth to that.
When I give the "I'm fine" response, it usually means I just don't want to talk about it for one reason or another.
When it comes to me talking about how I'm doing emotionally after the loss of my babies, it's the answer I give because I just honestly don't know what else to say. Most people you encounter probably don't even really want to hear the long explanation of how I'm really doing because it makes them a little uncomfortable. And sometimes I just don't even know where to begin! And there's even been a few days when I've felt like I just dared someone to ask me because I was so angry that I was really going to tell them how I was and not care.
A lot of times, for me, the response of, "I'm fine!" is how I stay strong. I'm a wife and a mother and I have jobs and responsibilities and my time to be "not fine" is very limited. So I am forced to find a way to be fine all the while thinking, "I have to be strong for my family! I have to be strong to make it through this."
But there is one very important thing I've learned this time around: there is a lot of strength in admitting that you are *not* fine.
It takes strength to ask for, and to accept, help.
It takes strength to tell someone how you're really feeling.
It takes strength to admit to yourself that you're not always "fine".
It takes strength to know that it's perfectly ok to not be fine all the time.
Not being "fine" is not a weakness. And maybe if more moms going through a loss were able to openly admit on any random day that they are, in fact, not fine today, more women would feel better about not being fine. To make the new definition of "fine" in this circumstance mean that we're hurting, we're experiencing something that's unbearable and something that we'll never understand, and that it's normal and good and how we heal. We're fine. We hurt, we cry, we long, we smile, we laugh, we scream, we yell.