My best friend has a habit of saying “it’s fine” especially when things have gone wrong and are anything but fine. Like when there was a chimney fire and he said “it’s just a small fire, it’s fine, everything’s fine, this. is. fine.”
It’s almost gotten to be a joke with our group, every time something goes wrong you say something like “nope it’s fine, I wanted to drop my phone on the ground, that’s exactly what I wanted to happen”
I especially like it when I get phone calls that start with “everything is fine but….”
When we first started hanging out, years ago, every time I got the “everything is fine but…” phone call, I would panic, I would think about all the things that could’ve possibly gone wrong and how they were most definitely bound to be somehow my fault.
But most of the time they were trivial things like lost wallets, or a delay in plans. Occasionally their were bigger problems, the dog got out, someone had a flat tire. And of course there were times when it wasn’t fine, when my friend decided to stay in her abusive relationship and stopped talking to us, when another person we knew killed took their own life, when someone was just too sad to tell us how we could help.
No amount of saying it’s fine will fix some problems.
But for some reason I’ve found that it does help me with some of the smaller ones. When I wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, panicking, my heart racing for no reason I can think of other than to upset me, I repeat “it’s fine” over and over again. Because it is fine, maybe not right then in that moment, but I know I’ll get through it. Day has to happen eventually, I’ll see my friends again and forget about the terrible sleep and upsetting thoughts.
And then next time something bad actually happens to me, I’ll call my friends and say “everything is fine but….” and somehow I’ll move forward, just like I always do.