We spend a lot of time telling ourselves we’re not okay. That there’s something wrong with us. That we’re not thinking right. Not feeling right. Not doing right. That we’re fucking up. That we’re unworthy. That we’re failures.
We spend a lot of time fighting with life like a fisherman battling a marlin. Life can certainly exhaust us.
Now I understand that some things are not okay. When we’re harmful to others, it’s not okay. When we mistreat others, exploit others, abuse others, disrespect others, it’s not okay. When we drink and drive, and drink and text, it’s not okay.
Not everything we do is okay. And it’s essential to take responsibility for the harm we’re aware we cause. That’s a noble and vital thing to do, regularly.
But I’m saying, you’re okay.
Now you may not always feel okay. When you feel despair, or suicidal, you’re certainly not feeling okay. When you feel sick, ill, you’re certainly not feeling okay. But although you may not be feeling okay, although you may be feeling pain, troubled, or overwhelmed, I’m saying you’re okay.
When I say you’re okay, I anticipate the objection, “How am I okay, when I’m questioning everything…even whether life’s worth living? I’m really not okay…to be feeling this way.”
I understand the objection. But what I’m getting at, what I’m emphasizing, is that too often we tend to bail on ourselves when we’re not feeling right. We do this pretty automatically. Too often, we tend to conclude there must be something seriously wrong with us by virtue of our feeling troubled, even deeply troubled.
Now of course, depression is real. When we’re depressed, or feeling hopelessness, it’s essential we do everything we responsibly can do to face what’s ailing us. We want to seek help. Support. We want to throw the kitchen sink at our despair with a commitment to managing, if not alleviating, it responsibly.
But feeling despair doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
Life is just a bitch. Life tends to engender feelings of despair. It’s normal to feel that we don’t always fit in with…fit with…life. It really is. And psychologically and emotionally complex individuals especially struggle with such feelings regularly.
Your soldiering through your experience of psychic pain, alienation, disconnection, isolation, insecurity, anxiety, you name it…it’s flat-out courageous. It just is. You may not always be feeling well. But you—the vulnerable, sensitive human being you are—you are amazing.
And you owe it to yourself—yes, I’m imploring you—to work as hard as necessary to come to this conclusion.