It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Bipolar Disorder, Grief, Healing, Mental Health | 0 comments

How many times have you heard, “It’s okay to not be okay” and believed it? I mean honestly, do they really mean that? Because a lot of people’s experience has been quite the opposite. Someone starts talking about how they’re really doing or shares about their struggles on social media, it’s not always met with reverence. And quite honestly, I’m really tired. This tiredness has been primarily due to pretending like I’m okay. The truth is, I’m not okay. And guess what? It’s okay to not be okay. And I actually mean that…

I’ve been struggling to find the right words lately. Which usually isn’t an issue. I’ll talk about my feelings until the sun goes down. But since I started medication for my bipolar disorder ten months ago, I haven’t been able to tap into my creativity. Partly because I’m still in the process of sorting out the right kind of medication and the correct dosage.

There’s this numbness that people have spoken about before I didn’t know was a thing until one day, I realized I’ve just been coasting. Each movement I made was like a series of boxes to check off. Drink water. Check. Go pee. Check. Turn on the faucet. Check. Wash hands. Check.

But there’s another part as to why I haven’t been writing lately I haven’t come to terms with until I listened to a podcast today that talked about it.

On the podcast, they mentioned how people talk about their mental health in terms of coming out the other side. How they’ll only talk about their issues with depression, anxiety, or even suicidal ideation until they’ve gotten a grasp on managing it.

And if I haven’t articulated it enough, that’s not where I’m at. I’m not on the side of having it all figured out. Knowing this has stopped me from writing. I thought the only way I could write would be if I had a solution to provide people.

But that was never my intention when I first started sharing my writing. My intention was to let others know they’re not alone in their suffering. That there is someone else out there who understands what it means to be debilitated by their condition. To know that someone in this great big world knows what it feels like to have irrational thoughts that the world would be better without them.

So now I’m lifting myself from the idea that I need to have it all figured out. Because I don’t need to. What I need to do is only a small list of things that fills my cup, writing being one of them. And I won’t inhibit my writing simply because I don’t have a solution. Here’s my solution: You’re not alone in your pain.

it's okay to not be okay

So here I am. Telling you my utmost truth.

I do not have a grasp on my mental health and haven’t for the last six months since Luna died.

I refuse to wave around a little flag that says in big bold letters, “I AM FINE” when I’m most certainly not fine.

The average day has been a constant fight. The anxiety curls up against my insides and laces them around one another like a hug I never asked for. It’s so tight I can feel a pressure that makes me want to scream, yet nothing comes out. The depression has created a fog that looms over me. I move at the pace of a sloth and I have little to no desire to move from the couch. I grasp onto the pillow and let the tears soak into the blanket, praying it’ll end soon.

There’s nothing I want more than to leave the house and get rid of these awful feelings. But it’s battling against my desire to stay on that couch until those feelings pass.

But the last few days have been a little better than most, which is all I can really ask for. I was able to get out of bed and do the brushing of the teeth. I was able to lace up my sneakers and go to the gym. And now, I’m putting words out into the universe. That right there is a victory. I’m giving myself a gold medal because I deserve it.

And my hope is that through all of the hard work I’m doing with therapy and my rigorous self-care, that my days will only continue to get better. But I’m also not going to set expectations on myself anymore as I have been. Grief, depression, anxiety, and bipolar quite frankly don’t do very well with expectations. They’ll let you down tremendously if you try and set them. Boundaries, on the other hand, are the bread and butter. I feel like I’m getting a decent hang on this whole boundary thing.

If right now you’re in a season where nothing really feels right, you don’t have a desire to do much of anything, or you’re just downright sad, I’m with you. It’s okay.

But do yourself a favor though. You don’t have to suffer alone. Ask for help. Talk to someone. Try therapy out. There is nothing worse than suffering alone. And the fewer people there are that talk about what it feels like in those dark moments, the more people are going to struggle with the idea that something is wrong with them. The less they’ll want to seek help.

Click Here for a list of resources if you’re not sure where to start.

So if you do anything today aside from snuggling up on the couch in your feelings dungeon, text someone. Call someone. Email a therapist. Just don’t sit with what you’re feeling by yourself.

If there’s something out there you want to talk about, leave a message in the comments. It can be totally anonymous. I just want others to know that they’re not alone.

*Please note that I am not a medical professional. If you’re experiencing mental health issues, please contact a doctor or therapist for proper help. I’ve also provided a list of resources you can check out by clicking here.

Lauren Dow is the author based in Greenville, SC. You can support Lauren’s work to normalize the discussion around mental health by checking out her books, In Body I Trust and Your Wild Journal.


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Meet the Author

Hey, I’m Lauren Dow. Author, podcast host, advocate, and feeler of the big feels. I’m here to provide a safe space to normalize the conversation about mental health and share about my journey of healing. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.


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