It is okay to not be okay. You hear that phrase a lot in the mental health world. And I believe it is an important thing to hear. So often society makes us feel like we have to be tough, like we have to be strong, independent, self-sufficient. But why? Mental health conditions or not, why can’t we as a society normalize that it is okay to not be okay?
I know I’ve said that phrase myself plenty of times. Yet whenever I slip into a depressive patch or into a particularly anxious patch it is so hard for me to admit it. And I am not just talking about admitting it to my therapist, or to my friends and family. So often I struggle to admit it to myself.
This is despite having mostly positive interactions with therapy over the last 8 years. This is despite knowing that I have a supportive network of people I can turn to, a network that won’t go running if the darkness comes back.
Because the darkness does come back. And that is okay. Because the light comes back too.
But normalizing the idea that it is okay not to be okay is so damned important because the longer we spend denying the darkness, pretending it doesn’t exist, the longer it takes for us to come out of the darkness. In the darkness, we shouldn’t need to waste energy pretending that everything is fine and dandy and sunny. Admitting to ourselves that it is okay to not be okay is the first step to getting out of the darkness in my opinion.
And after all, that is what we all deserve. We all deserve a world where we can come out of the darkness.
We deserve a world that normalizes the fact that it is okay to not be okay.