I’m fine

Not that long ago I’ve seen a post on Social Media asking ‘What’s your favorite lie?’ I did not answer at the moment, but I know that my favorite one has always been I’m fine. It is the lie I’m telling most of the time, and even if I know I should not, I keep telling it even when I’m anything but fine. Or especially then.

It is bad, yet a deeply rooted habit, and a costly one in terms of mental health and general well-being. But it is far from being something special. In fact, this is part of the factors leading towards what is known as The Caregiver’s Burnout. This is a common condition amongst the caregivers, manifesting as anxiety, depression, physical and emotional fatigue.

But here’s the catch: there are way more caregivers than we tend to admit. The caregivers are defined as persons caring usually for family members suffering from a disability or a chronic disease and are mostly associated with adults caring for their family’s elders. They are not.

A caregiver is also that friend who is always catching and trying to support and lift the others. That friend taking everyone else’s hand during their mentally challenging times and never talking openly about its own. It is that one person that always seems to have their life together, to know exactly where they’re going and what they have to do.

Because not every suffering is visible. Some of us face mental health challenges, others are facing losses, grieving times, there is a lot going on in every person’s life. And, every here and there, it is at least one person being the safety net of their social group. That one person who got the others coming to them for guidance in their tough times. They are caregivers as well, highly empathetic people that care and feel deeply responsible for those guided by them, even if not witnessed as caregivers by society.

And that leads them into a very dangerous trap. It makes them feel like the time for them to talk about their struggles is never now, always later. Now there are others that need their help and support, loved ones that need to receive their best in order to recover or get through the darkness. And this is how they get used to answering I’m fine when they’re asked about themselves. Because they are not a priority on their own list.

This also comes from a strong belief that places bad times as a thing to be kept private. As if, once admitted that you struggle as well, your ability of supporting others would vanish away, making you as weak as they are. Because the strong ones don’t make their dark times public while happen, but only talk about them later, when there are only the scars without the pain. However, truth is we all can struggle at the same time, but not in the same ways. We can (and we do) struggle in different ways, due to different reasons, and at very different intensities. That’s not what matters. What really matters is the ability to manage struggle, frustration and pressure. Because, as an informal caregiver, there’s a different kind of pressure on your shoulders: the thought that you’ve been trusted. That your close one, your friend, the person who asked you for help, did so because it knew you can deal with the situation without being overwhelmed. That you will lift them up, not that they would drag you down. When it comes to a family member that needs to be taken care of, there is a slightly easier burden to carry: you’ve had no actual choice, other than caring for them.

And just like that, the story of I’m fine begins to unfold: with the desire of not being a disappointment to the people which have seen the best in you, and with the belief that there will come a day when you will be free to talk openly about your struggles and allow yourself to ask for the help you need.

Because at the end of the day, what makes a caregiver fail those who trust them by failing themselves is the mix between empathy and fear. You know how it feels to be let down, so you fear that, by saying that you are struggling, you will let the ones that trusted you down. But you’re not. In fact, you would only be helping them more, as they see that it is fine to talk about your bad times. That you can only grow stronger when you learn to be honest. And, the most important lesson one could learn, that it is an act of self-care and self-respect, proof of generosity, as no one has ever been able to pour into other’s souls from an empty cup.


every smile feels
like I’m cutting my skin,
my muscular fiber
to reach the bones

every tear feels
like a midnight confession
made to a stranger
that disappears right after
my last sentence, as in a dream

every look at the surroundings
screams that this life is fake
and incomplete. and every night
reminds me that pain is my best friend,
the one who never leaves my side.
no, even if I beg for it.

every day is just another quest
in the attempt to find what I’ve lost.
and at the end of the day nothing hurts more
than the kind last words that remained,
a fade shadow of us, a cynical legacy of yours,
the sharp reminder of my weakness.

and if only I knew how,
I’d surrender myself in less than a blink
of a kind eye, with golden reflections.
but it’s too late for this. I cannot
be the obedient woman that
allows you to have the last word
and the first touch, the one
who’s gonna lead the way for two,
and I regret it. But too late.

by now I’ve remained
to lead the way, but
I walk this road alone,
just me, my pain and my scars.
some say it’s not
the kind of road you walk otherwise,
that you gotta do it all
by yourself. and every tear is a stone
put on your bridge to something else,
a clear and sharp ingredient
of a dark, painful, unpredictable metamorphosis

but you can’t build something
without sacrifice. and this
metamorphosis was payed with soul.
I’ve lost it almost all, and still
I manage to wake up.

I’ve lost my smile. with every smile
I am a bit more far away from
the real smiles I used to share
with all around me, all the time.
I’ve lost my hope that I’d recover,
that I would be myself again,
the same self that felt like reigning
above the world, the life and death
while holding your hand.
but hope is for the weak, you said…
does the lack of it make me strong,
or am I just a human being that
became so blind that it can’t see
a chance for goodness or the meaning
of staying alive?

and I would ask for forgiveness,
if only I could.
and I would promise obedience,
but I know I would lie.
there’s nothing left for me in this story,
other than walking day by day
in the labyrinth of pain, guilt and regret.
but it’s too late and too far for regrets, or
for the hope of making things right again.
now I’m leading the way on the path
that I walk by myself, and I struggle with
every breath not to drown myself in the pain
the truth has reached my bones,
and this is less than a game.

I grieve, and on my language
healing is a Babylon I’m silently walking towards,
one day at a time, one night washed with tears
at a time, yet happiness
still has your touch imprinted on it,
and the sound of your voice in the morning
remains the messenger of the good times
that are to come. I’m grieving,
and knowing you so far away,
seeing you becoming a stranger
that has no reason to walk this path with me
breaks every single part of soul
that is still standing.

why are you so broken?
try to look in the mirror, ask yourself,
and then, when you find the answer, go back
and ask yourself again: “why is she so broken? what I’ve done?”

and if you cry, if only one tear comes
to your eyes
that made me once upon a time
to lose myself in a blink of them,
then you’ll know. and you would’ve found
your way back to what were our lost
paradise, a loss so expensively paid,
and I’ll be there, trying to force the gate,
to climb the walls,
towards our long already lost
paradise made of love, and trust
and guilt, and broken promises and pain. but…are you ever going to return?

Fara raspuns


E teama, ura, grija ce vine

Si parca nu s-ar mai sfarsi,

Stii bine cat de putine-mi mai raman fara tine,

Iar viata insasi pare un complot


Fara raspuns au ramas invocarile

Amintirii pierdute, ceas de ceas

Si astazi tot ce mi-a ramas

E doar o umbra despuiata pe-un perete si..atat.


De-as fi eu sacru, tu ai fi

Profanul dulce, fara de-ndoiala,

Insa la cat ai tu de mers

Din mine pan’ la cer,

S-ar naste alte stele, gri spoiala

De var, cu jar si aburi, dulce nebunie!


Doi trandafiri nauciti de bruma

Ce cade din destul peste ei, de veacuri,

Isi duc viata ca pe arcuri,

Expunandu-si cu relaxare

Cicatricile la soare


Tot ei au ramas

Singurul fel de viata

Din locul asta blestemat,

Ce-i plin de pietre, invadat

De praf si urlete si vaiet



Numai urletul de caine

Se aude azi mergand pe dalele de piatra

Din praf doar cruci s-au mai cladit

Si-are sa vada lumea toata

Ca poti muri chiar daca n-ai trait


Amurgul asta pare sfant,

La fel ca ceata care vine

Dusa de fumul tare de tigara,

Nu e minut sa nu gandesc la tine.





Ieri ma gandeam prin ochii tai,

Azi vad deja un alt lung univers

Ce ma asteapta dupa coltul zgrunturos al cladirii,

Desi simt prin toti porii nevoia nemuririi


Doar prin tine

Pot infrunta aievea gerul, cu scancete de pui,

Si de raman al nimanui

Ce s-ar fi copt candva

Ramane bloc de gheata, mort ca stanca

Din care oameni vii faceau dantele aspre, calde.


Sunt multe care zac fara raspuns,

Intrebari sute mor in arhive negre

De suflet incomod, intunecos,

Scrisori pagane, vise profanate

De ale sufletului coridoare

Lungi si gri fantasme

Ce-ti infioara, iti distrug cupola

Fragila de sperante; nu-i ca-n basme.


Si-s soapte grele ce rasuna lin

A pecete si resemnare, a sentinta,

De te opresti in loc sa le asculti

Vezi doar sa nu distrug-a ta fiinta


Zi dupa zi, incet si greu se duce,

Iar azi te-ntrebi daca pacate au raspuns.

Prin ceata vremii ce s-a scurs

Nu simt c-ar fi vreo certitudine in spate


Amaruri dulci te-mbata azi,

Cand eu te simt usor tot mai departe.

Chiar de ti-as mai simti prin pori absenta

As incerca, cumva speriata, rezistenta,

O monotona, trista distantare

Cu miasma de lamai, exorcizare

Ce duce la cutremurarea

Si abolirea demonului din tine


Traiesti, respiri, visezi si zbori spre nemurire

Pe aripi de culori, simtindu-l pe “Mai Bine”,

Acel explorator timid ce locuia intine

Cu drumul fiintarii lui un semn de intrebare

Pe dupa labirintul verbului, ce-i oare,



O fi vreo gaura mai mare

Sau o simpla cutie cu soare

Aruncata la-ntamplare

Pe fereastra cu minuni?

Ce sa-ntrebi si cui sa-i spui…