Sometimes It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

Life isn’t easy. We all know that. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows and smiles. Sometimes it’s more cloudy than you want, more alone than you’d prefer, more difficult than you think you can handle. And sometimes, in those moments, you’ll feel ashamed. You’ll wonder “why me?” You’ll think that everyone else has it together, that you’re the only one who is falling apart.

But you’re not. You’re not the only one. And you shouldn’t feel judged or insecure or weak. Because it’s okay.

It’s okay not to be okay.

To have days where you barely have energy to get out of bed, where the pain cuts you deeper than you thought it could, where you wonder how you will ever make it through to tomorrow. Just breathe. 

You didn’t choose what happened, you didn’t choose your depression or your anxiety or your heartbreak. Stop blaming yourself. Stop believing it’s your fault. Don’t listen to the people who call you names or tell you to get over it. You are where you are for a reason.

It’s okay to be lost.

To have no idea where you are going or what you are doing, to wish you had a sense of direction, to feel like you’ll never really get a handle on the whole “adult” thing. There isn’t a GPS for your life or your career or your relationship. You learn by experience, by sometimes taking the wrong path, by figuring it out as you go. And one day you’ll be found. 

It’s okay to cry.

To stain your cheeks with rivers of mascara, to let the tears soak through your pillow, to cry in the way that it feels like your whole body is crying while you sit on the floor of the shower. And not just cry, but sob. Weep. Let it all out, cleanse yourself.

“Don’t let them see you cry”. That’s what my mom always told me. But in this case, she was wrong. Crying isn’t something to hide, something to only do in the privacy of your bedroom. It’s less a sign of weakness and more a sign of passion, of emotional awareness, of feeling.

It’s okay to fail.

To miss a big deadline at work, to think something would work out only to fall hard on your face, to sabotage what could have been a perfect relationship. We all make mistakes, we are all human. Failing at least means that you tried. And if you don’t try, you’ll never even have a chance at succeeding. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of the failures that you learn from.

It’s okay to let go.

To walk away from the boy who treated you like dirt, to quit the job that you dreaded going to every morning, to move on from that toxic friend who doesn’t respect you. Don’t cling to what doesn’t serve you, don’t hold on to what does more harm than good.

It’s okay to be alone.

To not have someone to text goodnight to, to choose to be single instead of with the jerk who cheated on you, to sit at home on a Friday night and wonder why no one invited you to the party. Sometimes you need time to yourself, whether by choice or not. Sometimes being alone is the medicine we didn’t even know we needed. In the end, all we ever really have is ourselves. So learn to appreciate your one on one time, decide to see it as healing instead of hurting.

It’s okay not to be okay.

Because that’s when you learn who really matters, who is really going to be there for you. That’s when you discover who you are, what you value, what you care about. That’s when you learn to appreciate the good days, the days that aren’t shadowed and cold. That’s when you get stronger, braver, tougher.

So it’s okay not to be okay. But it’s not okay to forget your value. It’s not okay to let them win. It’s not okay to give up. You’re worth fighting for.

Featured Image: Polina, Flickr

Amanda Tarlton
Amanda is a writer and designer who loves helping people tell their stories and who believes life is better on a yoga mat. She currently works for a tech startup in Baltimore, MD while she pursues her writing dreams on the side and can often be found binge watching The Mindy Project and eating Cheez-its.