"How are you?"
When asked, you immediately do a quick self-check of your emotional, spiritual, and physical health, correct? I dare say that's a hard no because most of us answer "fine" without even thinking. So we say fine, ok, good, or great because that is the polite option, and are they looking for how I really feel anyway?
I witnessed this first hand as I followed a young mom with two littles in tow into the grocery store. Child #1 wanted to ride in the back of the cart even though I guessed him to be about seven years old. Child #2 who I guessed to be about three or so did not want to ride in the cart at all and was throwing a tantrum to make his point. In the middle of this wrestling match, the store greeter said "welcome how are you today?". She replied "Fine" with a quick polite smile and shook the older one off the cart and sat the little one down hard and strapped him in. It was a maneuver to be proud of for sure!
I was with her through produce, frozen and refrigerated but she lost me at the liquor aisle. I have no reason to go down that aisle, but she thought she did. She might as well had a psychedelic shirt on that said Mommy needs wine in blinking letters. Now, I am not saying that just because she bought the wine means she has a problem, but if I were her back in the day, I would've been drooling over it the minute it was in my cart. Fantasizing about when the little monsters would be in bed and life would get softer around the edges.
Then I would be "Fine."
What is my point of this little attack on a seemingly polite question and answer?
It's this, what if back in the day. I would have been honest when that question was asked?
What if I would have said something like; "I want a freaking drink, or"guess what happened" even "I feel terrible today." My first thought is that poor clerk! So don't do that to them. I am thinking of a friend, or someone at church, or the friend that always tells you to let her know if you need something.
You would be wise to speak up.
The thing with addiction is that the longer you keep it in the dark the worse it gets. Darkness is a breeding ground for addiction. Expose it to light and it is not quite the monster it was in the dark.
Now I'm no mathematical genius but I know this formula to be true.
When you share your secret, you release yourself of some of the shame you are carrying around. Shame and guilt will keep you in an addiction snare. My obsession to hide my addiction to alcohol was equal to the obsession to drink it.
That is a full-time job.
Think about it, who could you share your problem with? It is true that no one can fix this for you, but they can help. Pick someone who cares for you and will lift you up in prayer. Maybe it's someone you can call when you are struggling and say "meet me for coffee or a walk, I'm struggling today.
As for the clerk who innocently asks "How are you today?" You can always use this one;
"My psychiatrist told me not to discuss it with strangers."
Peace on Your Weekend,
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.