YES! You read that correctly! It is ok to NOT be ok!
This is a subject that is very close to my heart and also something I deal with every day in my clinic.
So many people are struggling with the fact that they do not have it all together and this is really sad. We are all human, we all have emotions as well as having times when our lives hit some speed bumps.
What have we done as a society or a culture that makes people feel or believe that they must have it all together 24/7? How have we encouraged people to feel guilty or inadequate because they are struggling?
It’s normal and natural to feel like you’re drowning, about to drop your bundle and just unable to cope generally when life throws you a curve balls. It is normal, natural and ok to feel angry, upset, sad, frustrated, rejected, betrayed, let down, bitter or however it is you feel!
Well I want people to get comfortable with not being ok! It really is ok to NOT be ok. People often feel weak, needy, mentally unstable or abnormal when they feel like they are not coping.
It’s actually a sign of strength and mental resilience to ask for help, to admit that you’re not ok. It’s in that moment of acceptance of not being ok that you open the door to finding your balance, finding your centre and eventually moving toward regaining your innate ability to address your issue.
You are not expected to keep a stiff upper lip, roll with the punches, toughen up, deal with your emotions, just get over it, or supress your thoughts and feelings when it feels like your whole world is caving in. Whether you have just discovered your partner is cheating, you’ve lost your job, your friend has betrayed you, you’ve received a scary health diagnosis, you fear for the health and safety of your child or a loved one, or some other kick in the guts – it is normal to have an emotional reaction. It is normal to be scared and feel like you can’t cope. It is NOT normal or healthy to deny how you feel and present a cool, calm, got it together front to the world. We are human and therefore we have emotions. And when the breath has been knocked out of you it is OK and normal and healthy to feel like you’re not coping, that you’re not ok. You ae not a machine after all, you are a human being. A beautiful, emotional, perfectly imperfect human being!
So, I say again, it is ok to not be ok. When you get ok with the fact that you are not ok, and reach out to someone and say, “I’m not coping, I feel like I’m going mad, I might drop my bundle any minute now, can we have a chat, can I have a hug, can you help me?”, then and only then can you begin to move towards being OK. Anything less is not superficial and less than helpful.
So, if you’re not ok and really don’t know where to turn, reach out to the many wonderful and often free resources available – Lifeline, Headspace, The Samaritans, Salvation Army, 1800Respect etc.
And if someone reaches out to you, most times the best thing to do is just be available and listen. Be a friend and remember the healing power of a cuppa and a chat. Often people just need a witness to what they are going through, they need empathy rather than sympathy, reassurance that what they are feeling is normal and natural. Sometimes though they may require further assistance and so you can help them contact the above resources or others that you may know.