Not Jinxing It

Published in Personal / Mental Health - 2 mins to read

Whenever anyone asks me how I’m doing recently, I’m exceptionally reluctant to be honest with them. Now, this is usually the case, because I’m usually alarmingly miserable and I don’t want to upset them by giving an emotionally-involved answer to an innocuous question, but this time it’s different; I’m doing fine, well even, but I’m terrified of jinxing it.

I’m not even entirely sure why I feel this compulsion to admit to being doing averagely at best, and I think there’s probably different components of it. On one hand I want to keep everybody’s expectations of me fairly low (as always), and if/when things do start to go wrong I don’t want them to be surprised and think “but Jonny was doing so well, and now he’s depressed again?!” and get stuck in some cycle of emotional support that grates on them and damages our relationship. I also find it embarrassing when things fall apart - I see it as a bad thing for my character that I can’t keep things together and maintain my own emotional stability. Ultimately I think that the longer I tell people things are going well, the harder it becomes when I want to tell them that I’m struggling again, and so it seems a lot safer to just not mention the good times.

It’s nice to keep my own expectations down as well, minimising the potential for disappointment while optimising the opportunities for pleasant surprise. Maybe it sounds dumb, but recently pleasantly surprised is something I’ve felt almost all the time. I’ll be doing something totally mundane and I’ll catch myself and realise that I feel OK about today and I feel OK about tomorrow and I feel OK about myself and about my life, and that’s still a pretty novel feeling for me. In a way, I’m not sure if I ever want that part of things to change.

See other posts in the Not Jinxing It series