It’s like when someone says, ‘How are you?’ Do you say, ‘Well, my head hurts and I’m lonely and depressed and I’m worried about everything and the world is collapsing and full of evil’? Or do you say, ‘I’m fine’?
-Sara Shepard, The Visibles
I often reply to "How are you" with "I'm not bragging." That's how the sheriff responded in Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. Sometimes I'll say "Just grand, I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up." That's what August Walters said in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. But now I have practically a whole paragraph to reply with.
The Visibles looks like a great book, from the jacket cover:
In a novel consumed by the uncertainties of science, the flaws of our parents, and enough loss and longing to line a highway, Sara Shepard is a penetrating chronicler of the adolescence we all carry into adulthood: how what happens to you as a kid never leaves you, how the fallibility of your parents can make you stronger, and how being right isn't as important as being wise. From the backwoods of Pennsylvania to the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights, The Visibles investigates the secrets of the past, and the hidden corners of our own hearts, to find out whether real happiness is a gift or a choice.
For me happiness is neither a gift nor a choice, it's reduced suffering.