It’s Okay, to not be Okay…

When People Ask if it is Okay

It is Okay to Not be Okay…

I was asked recently about my feelings about something that each of us has faced in this mental illness life…

Is it okay to not be okay?

The answer is easy. Yes. There is nothing wrong with not being okay. This question is especially important to me over the past few weeks. I had to admit to myself first that currently, I am not okay. My depression has been peaking for the past few weeks. I am dealing with it like always with writing and one other way.

Love Yourself First

I always have to tell myself that, even though I am not okay, it is okay. The second thing–love yourself first.

Loving yourself first is where the healing really begins for us. We have to love yourself before that we can start the healing. If you’re like me, you forget when you are lost in depression that things always get better. This life is all about the ebb and flow of symptoms. How you deal with symptoms in the present, can mean how long your depression or anxiety affects you.

I always like telling this story because it is so vital to a blog post like this one. At the beginning of my diagnosis, I didn’t believe that there was something wrong with me. For years I fought to distance myself feeling that if I gave into being Bipolar something was wrong with me.

I lost three years of my life to this belief. I barely left my house. I became a shut-in. I could count on one hand the times I did something outside my home. Life started to pass me by. It took me years to get my life back.

It is okay to not be okay. The stigma that surrounds mental illness makes us believe that if we have a mental illness, we are outside of the normal. I believe that all of us in the mental illness community are the strongest people on the planet.

Always keep Fighting

James

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42 Replies to “It’s Okay, to not be Okay…”

  1. I could not agree more. I did a post a few months ago about not being okay, for a very similar reason to you. I was in a very low place, and I wanted to let people know that it’s okay not to be okay all the time. Sometimes you need to just accept that and look after yourself. Thank you for posting this!

    If you’re interested, here’s my post about not being okay: https://introducingmemyselfandi.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/i-am-not-okay/

  2. Great words buddy, together we are strong and telling our stories helps us and others that we are not so alone

  3. I’ve been following you for quite a long time, and you always bring up one thing that always sticks out. You have to love yourself first. Understanding your own feelings, emotions, and illness is vital in order to become stronger.
    You have come a long way, and are such a fine example that having a mental illness does not define you. You truly touch the blogging community in such a positive way! Good for you!

  4. Thank you for this post and reminder to just keep on trying.

    I hope you can focusing on self care day by day until this low passes. You’re right that it will eventually pass but in the moment it can be so hard to hold onto that.

    I read the beyondblue online forums and there is a thread called “do you like yourself” where people discuss whether it is essential to love yourself? It is an interesting read.

    Sometimes loving yourself can feel out of reach with the black dog putting you down. It can be easier to focus on remembering you

  5. Sorry hit post…
    Remembering you deserve to be safe and reasonably healthy can be an easier thing to focus on.

  6. So much truth in this. I tend to be so hard on myself and when I fall into my spiral of depression, it just gets worse and worse. And that’s because I cannot forgive myself for not being okay. I have to be perfect and on point all the time and I feel weak in those moments that I am not okay, so naturally I deny it. But the second that I let that go and acknowledge that it is okay to not be okay, it is so much easier for me to let go and I heal so much faster.

  7. I’m up at 5:00 am when I don’t have to be, because apparently I feel the need to be freaking out over something that is mental health related. I needed to read that it was okay to not be okay. (I’m adding “breathe” to that.) I know that it is okay not to be okay, but I argue with it at times, forget it at times. I needed the black and white on the page right now “It’s ok.”

  8. It’s strange we immediately feel guilty for not being okay. Yet, we know we have mental illness, which means sometimes we’re just not okay. Why is that? Maybe because we feel like we’re letting someone down by not being okay? It could just be me. I think about how my husband tries to tell me for months that I’m starting to get bad, and I defend how okay I am. Yet, I know how important it is to try to be self aware. Maybe it should be hanging somewhere in my house…

  9. ‘you forget when you are lost in depression that things always get better.’ and ‘I believe that all of us in the mental illness community are the strongest people on the planet.’ Love this post and especially these two sentences. So true! Thanks!

  10. LOVE. It’s ridiculous how the answer to “How’s it going?” is automatically good. Sometimes it’s not, and that’s ok.

  11. When I had cancer apparently I looked like hell. So when somebody asked me “How are you doing?” most of the time my response was polite. But if somebody already knew I was gravely ill I usually answered them honestly -“You know I’m sick. I feel like shit”. I learned that people really don’t know how to handle a person who is ill. Once I was attempting to pay my cable bill. I was still undergoing radiation treatments. I started gagging in the store. I guess the manager thought I was going to toss my cookies and kicked me out of the store. Instead of offering a place to sit down or some water I was shown the door. Did I woof my cookies..no? Was I given an apology..no?

    People have no idea what to think or do when they encounter outside their comfy, narrow, idea of normal. That’s why reading today’s post was so refreshing. The “illness” may be in people but the real illness is how society treats us.

  12. It took me awhile to accept it’s okay to not be okay — to communicate that when people ask. So many people were startled when I first started responding that way and most didn’t know how to respond. A handful of people I know wanted to know why which opened the door for them to help. Thanks for your blog and your encouraging posts.

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