I’ve been feeling not so ok lately and so as a reminder to you, and to me, that’s ok.
Sometimes life is hard. Days are tough. Sometimes you just don’t feel right. Sometimes there is an explanation, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes it hits you out of nowhere.
No matter whats behind it, life gets easier when you realise that it’s ok to not always be ok.
I used to feel like bad days, periods of feeling overwhelmed by what was going on in my life were failings. Steps backwards in my progress. Something to be ashamed of and hide as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
It didn’t work. Ever. It’s like not pooping for 3 months. It’s all going to catch up eventually and it’s not going to be good!
About 3 months after I moved in with Brent, it happened. Without explanation, I didn’t feel good.
I didn’t talk about it. He knew about my struggles with depression, but he had never seen it. I didn’t know what he would think, or how he would react so I tried to push it aside and pretend everything was ok. Figured I could just fake it ‘til I made it!
It got worse.
Eventually, he asked me what was going on. I had been snappy and distant and not sleeping for weeks.
I told him what I was feeling and that I didn’t have an explanation for it – things were going so well and I should be grateful and happy but I wasn’t and that I didn’t want to tell him because I didn’t want him to know I was such a mess and I didn’t want him to leave because of it. He laughed, in the loving way he always does at my irrational freak outs.
“Honey, you’re not a mess. You’re human. No one ever feels amazing all the time – that’s not how life works and you’ll drive yourself crazy aiming for that.”
It’s not something we hear often enough.
Too often we feel something other than happy, and then guilt and or shame follows closely behind. Then we not only feel what we’re feeling, (which is sucky enough on it’s own) but the feelings are compounded with the misplaced idea that there is something wrong with us for not feeling great all the time.
Once I acknowledged and accepted that I wasn’t feeling good, and that it was alright, I could take care of myself as such. After that, as sneakily as they arrived, the dark clouds left.
Since then, I’ve made more of an effort to acknowledge how I’m feeling before things get out of hand.
I have found a process that works, and I use it as often as I need to.
I let myself wallow. I set a timer and I let myself feel wholly sorry for myself. This is guilt free time to feel whatever it is I am feeling. More often than not, acknowledging that I don’t feel ok and giving myself permission to feel exactly what I’m feeling is all I need to move on. When it’s not, I’ve put energy into figuring out how to process it properly rather than wasting energy fighting to ignore what is going on. When I don’t feel so overwhelmed, it’s easier to make plans for how to move forward.
So, in case no one has told you, it’s ok to not feel ok.
Just because things are going well for you, doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to have bad days.
If you have something that someone else maybe doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that your emotions are less justified or valid.
Not feeling ok doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.
It’s ok to cry, to feel sad. To mourn our losses or the dreams that didn’t play out.
It’s ok to not always really know why you’re feeling this way and it’s ok to not have things figured out.
It’s ok to not really feel like life-ing sometimes. The world is a pretty overwhelming place and things can get too much.
It’s ok to admit you’re struggling and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.
We shouldn’t striving for happiness 100% of the time, we should be striving for wholeness.
That means accepting feelings of frustration, sadness, disappointment or anger – they are as much a part of who we are as being happy is. They make us human and they make us whole. They bring with them lessons and dealing with them in a healthy way helps us to grow. When we give ourselves permission to embrace that, we become happier as a side effect.
Remember to love yourself through all the crazy ups and downs, and take care of yourself through all of the emotions life brings.