Alternative to “how am I feeling?”

One question that I have a hard time answering is the “how are you” question.

I feel like the only option is to answer
“I fine”

But “I’m fine” is a total lie.
Other than some rare occasions, I m actually not fine.
I m bloated, I m nervous, I m dejected, I m tired, and I m completely the opposite of being fine.

But all that truth stay within me while I make a smile and say “I m fine”.

Because for someone dealing with addiction, this “how are you?” question brings me back to reality.
It reminds me of my midnight binges, and the discomfort I m feeling now.
It reminds me that I don’t have a life.
Or that I am depressed. Or anxious.
I feel ashamed to say anything other than “I m fine.”

Recently, I found out that I actually ask this question to myself too.

I repeat this “how am I feeling” inside my head.
And my brain gives me either
“I don’t feel good” or “I feel good”.
When I don’t feel good, I binge to numb that.

It’s like a question my brain asks to avoid (possible) pain.

But the thing is that when I ask myself “how am I feeling”, it’s either “good” or “bad”.
I don’t really know what that good or bad actually is.

So I tried to ask myself
“what am I feeling” instead.

Mostly I couldn’t come up with a specific answer.
I realized that my brain is not reliable.

Even when I m feeling “not good”, I couldn’t come up with a specific bad emotion.

This was somewhat soothing for me, as I learned that I actually don’t have anything to be afraid of, or feel bad about.

My brain might just have made a mistake thinking it was bad.

Other times when I ask myself “what am I feeling”, I can come up with stuff like
Tired, sad, thankful, excited.

When I actually identify specific emotions, I feel less scared of my emotions.

While I can start asking myself “what am I feeling” instead of “how am I feeling”,

I m not sure if I can switch to “what are you feeling” to other people.

It just sounds too invasive..

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