Sometimes We Are Just Not Okay…and That’s Okay

Sometimes, I’m not okay. I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit it.

Too often, when we struggle – and I mean heart-wrenching struggles, our souls splitting with the pain of the pressure, the stress, the undeniable aches – we feel the blood pumping in our heads, in our hearts: “Too much. Too much. Too much. Too much.”

Sometimes, the overwhelmingness, the responsibility, the necessities and the constant “to-do’s” begin to be too much to handle, too much to feel, too much to admit.

It’s too much when we start to feel distant from ourselves. When we are only a shell of who we know we can be. When we take inventory of our lives and circumstances and think, Hey, who am I? Why am I feeling this way?

Sometimes, we’re just NOT okay.

It seems that we have come to accept hiding our imperfections, stuffing our bad days and weeks, our slumps and ruts out of sight from the world. I don’t mean that hideously impersonal world out there.  I mean our world. Our family, our friends, our support.

Sometimes, we hide behind a façade of golden “I’m-fine-ism,” where everything is, you got it: just fine.

Our smiles don’t quite reach our eyes, and in a rather convincing tone, we repeat that we are “fine, just fine,” as if we say it often (or fervently) enough, we just might believe it.

Are we afraid of others’ retribution? Are we concerned about others barging into our unresolved issues? Or can you catch the pleading note in my “just-fine-ism”:  I’m not fine, actually. Ask me. Ask me what’s wrong! Help me!

And here’s the truth: Sometimes we are NOT OKAY.

Sometimes we are sad, grieving for those we’ve lost. For relationships that have failed, for quakes with friendships or lovers that have left us broken, split in pieces. Others grieve for themselves, for they are the ones that are lost.

Sometimes we’re angry. Angry for pain and weakness and fear. Angry for victims and at betrayal. White-hot anger at nothing at all and everything at the same time. The pain of it sears us, leaving internal, lasting scars.

At times we’re not okay, because we are left with a juvenile perception of fairness. The world, we think, has abandoned us. Left us to fend for ourselves. How utterly unfair this life we live can be.

Sometimes we are stressed. Stressors that will shut off our ability to cope and shoot raging panic and pandemonium into a once calm existence. There’s not enough money. We can’t have a baby. My husband is cheating on me. I have no friends. My daughter has cancer. I’m an addict.    

Sometimes we are out of control. In these moments, we feel our strongholds crack and begin to crumble. The elements that have formed us are shaken. The foundations that have defined our purpose-driven lives are as solid as poor footing on a sheer rock face.

Sometimes we don’t live up to our own expectations of ourselves. Or others’ expectations, for that matter.

Sometimes we can’t quite capture the essence of opposition. What are we supposed to learn from these trials and troubles? How are we supposed to grow? Why can’t it just stop?

Where’s the calm? Where’s the peace? Where’s the solace?

Sometimes, we are not okay.