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It's okay to be not okay. Sunday January 19, 2014

Sometimes we need to admit that we don't feel okay and that that in itself is fine.

When things aren't going well and that feeling stays with you for a while and possibly even sets in as a mood you might start to worry.

But what if you just accept you are not okay? What if you just say to yourself, you know what, considering everything going on, it's okay that I feel this way?

I know that we all strive to be happy, and that is ideal, but what if just being okay is a more realistic goal?

Today I woke up and said "I'm not okay" and I followed that by saying "but it's okay that I'm not okay" and my worrying has lessened so I can carry on with today without beating myself up any more. It might take me a while to feel okay but that's all I'm aiming for. I'm not aiming for happiness or perfection at the moment, just to be okay.

So I have a little note stuck to my computer screen which says "It's okay to be not okay" to remind me that the downs are part of life and that I don't need to be perfect, that being perfect might actually include (in the words of Anne Lamott) "looking at the mess, the emptiness and discomfort and allowing it to be there until some light returns".

So maybe the best you can do today is say to yourself "I'm not okay but that's okay" and be brave and carry on.

A Moodscope user.

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Diana Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 7:35am

Beautiful - Jules/ Will ALSO put this near my computer screen,,,
Words like dew-drops of gold !

Gitanjali Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 7:36am

Just what I needed today !

Jojo Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 10:04am

Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou Jules that's just what I need today. Have a great day everyone x

Coptions Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 10:05am

Hi Jules, I am a life coach and many of my clients all think they should be happy. Today I awoke with a full blown cold and the first thoughts were of my sister who passed away on Friday. Your wise words really helped me to say it's Ok to feel lousy today! Tomorrow I will feel a fraction better! I follow your words daily and I think they help me to better understand some of my clients, Thank you so much for the huge effort that you put in to help others to understand themselves. Keep it up!

C A Morgan Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 12:59pm

Hi Jules Totally agree with you and it's been a lesson that I have taken years to understand. It's also good to realise that not feeling okay is sometimes the most completely normal and appropriate response to life 'stuff' such as feeling ill with a cold as in Coptions post above or a major problem or life event.

It is harder when you can't maybe think of a direct cause but knowing that you are vulnerable to have low moods is a reason to give yourself a break when you're struggling to cope with the day. I think that this kind of self-awareness and being compassionate with ourselves can really help us to cope at difficult times.

I know for myself when I find myself plunged into a depressive episode -and definitely not feeling okay- I now try to think well that's OK so will try hard to just do what I can cope with and not beat myself up for the things I can't. I also try to give myself a small treat which might be giving myself time to read a book I've not had time for or, if I can get out and face people, to maybe buy a nice coffee in a favourite place.

So maybe it's useful to think about the 'not feeling okay' days before they happen and have some tiny treats in mind ready so a 'not okay' day isn't quite so bad and instead is just a needed pause in a busy life?

Julia Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 1:28pm

I think it's easier not to be okay in front of people when your family, work colleagues and friends know about your depression or mental health issue. No-one knows about mine (they may think I'm a bit negative and not much fun sometimes, a lot of the time!) and therefore I can only allow myself to be "not okay" when I'm on my own or with my husband. Or on Moodscope. And with my buddy and a person I email whom I met through Moodscope. What you are saying Jules is right and really good advice and it's nice to know that it's okay not to be okay. I understand this and agree. However there are days when it's not okay to let others see you are not okay, for instance on family occasions when you are the focus of their attention for the loveliest of reasons or when it would be just too selfish to appear how I feel. i.e down and wanting to run away.

Anonymous Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 2:59pm

"I know that we all strive to be happy" reveals the mind of the writer. I, personally, make no effort to be happy--I either AM happy or not. What I do strive to do, is not interfere with others' happiness. If I am troubled, I generally warn intimates, and try not to rain on acquaintances' parades. Remember, The I is ego, the strive is desire and when they are gone, what you;'ve got left is happiness. So my struggle is with ego and desire...not happiness. Happiness is like air.

heather Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 4:45pm

I loved this and it was just what I needed today too. I sent it round to a few friends who suffer from depression and they too found it really helpful. I think so many of us strive for happiness as if it is our right to be "happy" all the time but would we appreciate being happy if we were not content to be "OK" and made OK our achievable goal and happiness an added blessing ?

Anonymous Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 4:48pm

I like that one Jules. Good advice and something that I have to work at so it's good to be reminded. We need to be kind to ourselves. I've learnt that good enough is fine and that perfect is not worth the effort.

Daren Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 5:12pm

Not only is it okay not to be okay, we should expect, at times, not to be okay. Just as light needs dark, just as day needs night, our highs need lows & joy needs pain. Suffering is part of life. To wish away suffering and pain is to wish to live in a state of delusion. It's probably foolish to think the night is permanent just as it's foolish to cling to the daylight. Just a couple of thoughts... Yet, Of Course! Of course, it's okay to not be okay.

Anonymous Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 7:32pm

Hello anon 2.59pm,
What you wrote is really interesting, I have copied it to my notebook. Thank you.

Anonymous Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 8:45pm

Thank you Jules. If I am going to say this bluntly. I felt like crap today. There is something that I have started and I want to get it right. I am a perfectionist and I have high expectations of myself, but I guess I need to say it is ok to not feel ok. Reading your comments have given me a sense of relief.....It's funny writing this, I am starting to feel that my mood is lifting. Thanks

Anonymous Sun, Jan 19th 2014 @ 11:18pm

I have some how forgotten to take my meds for my "wonderfully disconfuctable" bipolar disorder, two days in a row... any ways.. *its ok, to be not ok"*... to me I feel it is not ok to feel not ok, because I feel not ok more than ok these days... I had a anxiety attack this morning, trying to make breakfast for my ole man and me. My chest got tight, I forgot to breath, then when I did finally breath it was hard, I started shaking, heart racing... I was overwhelmed. Then I realized I put to much butter in the pan fr the french toast and the toast was soggie in the pan. That led to, in my mind, "I cant do anyhing right, why cant I make this stupid french toast, it should be so easy... whats wrong withme, i use to be able to". I picked up the soggie pieces of, what was supposed to be "french toast" and threw it in the sink... THEN, I stopped myself from cooking, not before I burned the crap out of my hand, shut the burner off, and went into my bedroom. I sat jn front of my mirror, that has positive affirmations written on all sides of it, took deep breaths, and read the affirmations, over andover again so my brain couldnt stray onto negative thoughts... it tooj 2hrs to calm completely down. NOW Im sittin here reading my positive AWSOME moodscoped and commenting on it FOR THE FIRST TIME... If you read this whole comment.. I thank you very much... melissa

Anonymous Mon, Jan 20th 2014 @ 11:16am

Fab! I think I need a tshirt saying its ok not to be ok ! I spend all my time worrying about not being ok?!

Ellinida Mon, Jan 20th 2014 @ 6:35pm

I saw this in my inbox yesterday but chose to leave it until today to read it and I'm glad I did. Today I am not ok - but it is ok that I'm not ok because my job is very stressful, my son will be 21 this week and my father in law has only a few days left to live. I am generally very strong and resilient but I understand that with everything that's going on in my life just now I am bound to feel "not ok". Thanks Jules for your wise words.

Anonymous Mon, Jan 20th 2014 @ 7:41pm

thanks for this, i need to remember this next time I'm not ok and i'm trying hard to ignore it!

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