In answer to a well meaning, "How are you?" this answer typically means two things - not very well, and it sucks but I don't deserve anything worth having anyway.
Subtle, twisted pride. Gets ya every time.
The way it was intended when I first heard "better than I deserve!" offered as an answer to this question was that we DON'T deserve anything good by our own merit - what we DESERVE is hell and separation from God. The ultimate of "bad days." And that's reason for HOPE, not bitterness, which is another root attitude of my answer. Bitter because I've given up hope for a belief that this is as good as it gets, forget that I'm the child of a Father who would give good things to His undeserving children (it's not about my worthlessness but His grace); might as well get used to lousy circumstances.
But (perhaps for the first time) I used it this evening in what I think is a better way: I'm not doing very well, it's true, but rather than listing my petty complaints that don't amount to a single dot in the span of time, let's focus instead on something we can hope in.
I'm not saying I won't share my struggles... and I won't say I don't struggle with finding a happy medium between admitting I'm unwell and claiming the truth of my big-picture situation... but it's so easy to unload on our sympathizing friends and forget to see God's hand in it. God's hand, His control over our lives, is not usually the first thing I see when faced with a difficult day. That is my weakness, but it is where I am.
So maybe it was better, but maybe not the best. I'm into extremes and have a hard time with balance. I guess that's the step that I'm missing - not denying either reality but actually making the conscious effort to acknowledge both... and see for myself that the Lord is good.
P.S. This is post 137. Just... thought I'd letcha know. :-D