This message is for anyone struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, emotional turmoil, or maybe you’re just having a bad day.
I have come to make it a habit of telling people who are upset or sad "It's okay to not be okay". I say this so often to people because I feel like we all need to hear that sometimes, but nobody ever says it. Our society is so outspoken, but can't seem to handle a calm conversation on deep emotions or grief. I'll just use myself as an example here. I have anxiety. I go through bouts with depression, some of which can get severe. When I open to people and admit that I'm having a hard time the reaction is one of 2 things.
1 - "You're fine" "You got this" "You're doing great" "You're okay". I realize people say this as a pep talk. Maybe that's what they think I need. They have good intentions to be encouraging. I've come to the conclusion that those people are in denial because they can't handle talking about real issues. You can tell someone you're not okay and they insist that you are okay. Not only does that make me want to scream, but it completely shuts me down. I know I can't open up and talk to people who can't handle acknowledging when someone is not okay or that all humans go through bad times. It's sad because it's during those rough days that we are the most in need of loving support and a good friend.
Reaction #2 - "So and so has it worse than you" "You shouldn't feel that way. You should be grateful or happy or whatever". This adds insult to injury. Not only are you choosing to open up, be vulnerable, and reach out to a friend. Not only are they shutting you down by refusing to acknowledge your situation as your perceive it. On top of that, they are basically telling you that you don't even deserve to have a hard time with something. They pour condemnation and guilt on your wounds. Then those people wonder why you shut down and push everybody away.
I say all that to say, IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY SOMETIMES. You don't need anyone to validate your feelings except for yourself. If you're happy, great. We all have happy times. If you're depressed or struggling or grieving or in despair, accept that as normal human emotions we all go through sometimes. Accept your feelings for what they truly are. Love yourself where you're at. Self-care is essential.
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