It is okay not to be okay
Life is not always as we imagined it would be and that is fine.
As a child, I heard the adults in my life say, “ when someone asks how you are doing? Respond AM fine.”
Society has thought us to always respond okay or pretend to be happy even when we are not. This is because we always look at those who respond not okay as weak and miserable. But the truth is, that should not be the norm.
What society doesn’t say is that when you pretend to be okay or happy, it means that you will hold things in and bottled up until the bottle gets full and eventually explode.
There are a lot of things going on in the world right now, and your plans may not seem to work as you planned it.
Maybe you lost your job, or lost a family member or you are sick, or you are in a huge debt right now, or maybe you are all alone.
Maybe what you are going through is not on the list but the truth is, we are all dealing with something. We all have struggles we go through each day. Some bigger than others but they are all valid.
But whatever it is that you are going through, I want to tell you that, it is okay not to be okay and you don’t have to pretend to be okay. Nobody is happy all the time and nobody is okay every time. I see you and I am right there with you so you are not alone in this.
It is completely okay to say you are not oaky.
I want you to hear this from someone who always says she is okay even when she has tears in her eyes.
My whole life, I have always had to be the strongest child, the strongest friend, the one who is always listening to her friends’ problems and finding solutions for everyone. The one that people can actually count on to help if everyone else says no. I am that friend who would borrow money just to give to a friend in need. I would give my food out just so the next person can have a meal.
Personally I love to help people and it gives me joy to see others happy and okay so I don’t mind.
However, as much as I love to be there and help others, sometimes I also need someone to do the same for me.
There have been many times that I have kept pouring and pouring that the cup was completely empty and still I kept pouring. The sad thing is that in times of need I am always on my own to face my own problems. Even the people that I thought would be there are often nowhere to be found when I need them the most. But my answer always has been it is okay.
But is it really okay???
I remember one day I was talking to one of my best friends who is a psychologist, who has seen me on many occasions pouring from an empty cup. She asked me “why do you feel the need to constantly say you are okay and help others even when you are not?” what she asked me got me thinking a lot. That night I barely slept. The thing is she knows me very well so she knew what she was talking about and she was actually right.
I had to start thinking so hard and look at things from a different angle.
Now don’t get me wrong. My friend did not say that because she wanted me to stop helping others. But her concern was that I felt the need to always pretend to be okay even when I am not. I was always saying yes and okay to things that I didn’t even want to say okay to.
This is something that I have done since childhood. In school I always sought to make friends with people who did not belong to any group..you can say the odd ones. I always wanted to help the kid that was being bullied. That was not bad at all, but the motives behind that were the problem. I have done it so much that it now ingrained in me I don’t even realize when I do that.
The root of the problem?
I started asking myself questions as to why I always felt the need to help or to act okay even when I am not.
To my surprise I came to find out that sometimes as human beings, we crave acceptance. Sometimes we crave this acceptance so much so that we do everything to get accepted.
Aside from acceptance some of us are just addicted to the feeling of people depending or needing us. Because of that, we try so hard to help everyone we meet in order to feel like a hero in our own minds. We feel if we help others, it makes us likable.
Whether we realize it or not, we push our own issues and struggles aside, and jump to the aid of others because we are actually scared of feeling rejected or being disapproved by our friends and families.
However, no matter how far away we push our own issues and struggles, they still don’t go away. In the moment of focussing on others, it might seem as though it disappeared but after a while they resurface. They reappear due to the simple fact that we didn’t address those issues and it’s only a matter of time before we explode from pilling things up. We must learn to say we are not okay when we are not.
Lean on others for support
Life is not all peaches and roses, and sometimes we do face challenges in our lives. So when we do, it is very okay to say we are not feeling okay.
NOTE: that just as others trusted you to tell you their issues, the same way you can find people you trust to lean on. We are human so ofcourse we can not always be okay and our friends and family know that too, so let them know when you don’t feel okay.
Sometimes being vulnerable can feel like losing control of your life or giving someone power over you, but your vulnerability can actually be your blessing. Life is lonely and very hard to face alone sometimes that is why we all need somebody to lean on.
I know for some of us it is probably hard to be vulnerable. And I know they say you can not teach an old dog new styles, but I’m sure with time some old dogs pick up new styles, especially if the old dog knows the importance of the new habits.
Open up to people and invite them in, you will be surprised at how much support you may get in return.
Yes, I am aware that not everyone will be there for you. Sometimes even the people you helped in their darkest hours may turn their backs on you but always remember that you are not alone.
God will always give you a helper to lend a helping hand.
Your feelings are valid
Remember that, whatever emotions you feel, your feelings and emotions are valid and you have every right to feel how you feel. It is normal to feel not okay.
Therefore, if you are going through hard times right now. I want you to know that you are loved and people care about you more than you know.
Life is hard and it can be lonely at times but I see you and I am here with you.
Take all the time you need to recharge because you can not pour from an empty cup.
The world needs you and you make the world better in your own unique way so if you need to stand on top of a mountain to scream You are not okay….do it until someone hears you.
There is absolutely no need to hide and die in your pain. Seek help and always remember that GOD loves you.