“It’s ok, not to be ok”
Frankly, I had to start writing this article a couple of times.
It is a very sensitive subject for me.
Why? Because I really never allowed myself not to be OK. At least not publicly or outside of my inner family circle.
“ STAY STRONG, SMILE. NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT OK. Most don’t care; others will be happy about it.”
Well, I still think that my above statement is correct, to a certain extent.
But it is time to have a meaningful conversation about mental health.
----------------------- Disclaimer: I am not a specialist or certified. So I will not go into any details. I will just humbly speak about my personal experience and how I overcame some of my issues and worked on them daily. ----------------------
NOT TALKING TO EVERYONE VERSUS NOT TALKING TO ANYONE:
Not talking to everyone about your feelings is one thing. Not talking to anyone about your feelings is another.
As I said earlier, I am definitely not the kind of person who likes to share when I am not well.
I try to be always smiling, always bubbly on the outside.
“How do you manage to be happy all the time?? Your life must be so perfect!”
Well, this kind of comment made me feel so pressured to not show when I am not well. The pressure to be “perfect”, to be the “always smiling, always happy” kind of person.
Let me tell you, this is all bullshit.
And the thing is, I feel that nowadays, “How are you?” is just a social question to greet someone and to start a conversation. Not really meant to know how you really are.
SPEAK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS:
I am lucky because I have a family, a partner and friends who support me. And my mom, well, she is pretty amazing at detecting when I am not OK. Also, she does have the power to make you speak and exteriorize your feelings.
It was quite a different story when I moved to London. It is easier to hide my feelings from my family and friends without being around them. Also, I did not want to share my sadness or anything negative with them because I did not want them to worry.
With my partner, well, I definitely can’t pretend with him (and the thing is, I don’t want to, nor feel the need to). So now, I can share it with him when I am not OK.
The thing is, YOU NEED to have at least one person with who you can share how you feel.
If you think you don’t have anyone and are alone, YOU ARE NOT!
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with someone you know, you can send us a message or contact a special phone number. People are volunteering to help people. It is wonderful.
You are HUMAN, I am human. We can’t be ok all the time and IT IS NORMAL!
IT IS OK NOT TO BE OK!
STEP 1: ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE NOT OK
I know it is not easy. I am quite the queen of hiding my own feelings from myself.
Now that I know I tend to lie clearly to myself (let’s be transparent and honest here), I am more careful. “Sophia, you are not OK. Stop pretending and stop lying to yourself.”
When I say that to myself, acknowledging that I am not OK, I can proceed with the second step.
STEP 2: ASK FOR HELP / TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
At first, it might be pretty difficult, at least it was for me, and it is OK.
Trust me, step by step, little by little, you will get there.
DAMN, IT FEELS SOOOOOO GOOD to release your emotions sometimes!
Also, when I want to talk about heavy things, like my negative thoughts and feelings, I ask the person I want to speak with if they have enough mental space for that.
STEP 3: BREATH
It is OK to have bad days. BREATH, embrace your feelings and don’t lie to yourself. Because if you do and don’t try to understand them, how can you work on feeling better?
STEP 4: TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
Relax, take a bath, do something you enjoy, and rest.
I am not joking; resting is massively essential. Your body needs it. If your body is exhausted, your mind will also be as well in the long run.
STEP 5: UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HAVE THOSE FEELINGS
Understand your feelings and why you have them to find a solution and feel OK again.
STEP 6: APPLY YOUR SOLUTIONS
When you understand why you have those feelings and have ideas on how to feel better: apply those ideas. YOU GOT THIS! And always, ALWAYS remember that it is OK not to be OK. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of that.
IT IS NORMAL !!!!
And even more normal now with everything that is entirely out of our control.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ARE TOGETHER.
So now tell me…. How do you truly feel today?
And always remember, “Be confident, Be you!”
Lots of Love,