But You Seem Fine

Today I am at Leanne Penny’s place. I love how Leanne keeps it real about (among other things) parenting, and she has some really amazing things to say about grief. Most excitingly, I am crashing on her couch next weekend! I cannot wait.

She is running a series on how to help people who are hurting. The older I get the less interested I am in whose who in theological debates, and more interested in who arranges and pitches in on the casserole rotation. We can disagree on a lot of things, and still be united in loving with our whole selves.

It can be particularly difficult to love someone well if their hurting is mysterious.

But you seem fine.

From 1997-2009  my body was not fine. I was tired and achy and just didn’t feel good. For hours, for days, for months at a time. I for sure was not fine.

But you look fine.

But I looked fine. I looked totally normal. I was tallish and thinish and smiled and laughed a lot . I was participating in class discussions and marching the tenor drums in the marching band and trying out for the school plays. I was bringing home trophies from the speech tournaments and dating boys.

Then, I would just up and disappear.

You can read the rest here.

4 thoughts on “But You Seem Fine

  1. A very encouraging reminder for this jr high school nurse. I love my kids and want to give them the care they need without becoming cynical. Sometimes they just want to GO HOME. I understand that totally. I try to do my best to discern what the best course of action is, but believing their “hurts” (even when the hurt isn’t what they are saying it is) is major. I’m so glad for all the people who were kind to you in your life.

  2. I appreciate your reference to mental illness as invisible pain. Sometimes people can function and sometimes they “disappear.”

  3. Hey! After getting to see you yesterday, I FINALLY put your blog in my RSS feed so that I won’t ever miss it. I love your writing.

    Anyway, I love how this post gets at the trap of grief – if we look to be in pain we can be accused of melodrama, but if it doesn’t show, some might not acknowledge its existence. Also, I wanted to pass along this helpful piece of advice I read recently: http://www.yesandyes.org/2014/03/someone-elses-pain-struggle-do-not.html

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