“I’m fine”

No one likes to show weakness: it is a sign of failure, a cause for shame. Or so we are told. With notions of independence and success drummed into our minds from a young age, it is often very difficult to admit, to others and to oneself, that life may not match up to the ideal picturesque scene. The rotting timbers are strategically plastered over. The polluted river is deemed unworthy of attention. The dark cloud is dismissed as a passing phase. And so the classic reply to "How are you?" prevails.

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