It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
Today we’re going to talk the fact that it’s okay not to be okay.
I’m Angela, my passion is to break the stigma of mental illness among fellow Christians. That means I have this great opportunity to be real and not just talk about the facts of mental health issues, but how it plays out in everyday life. I love being able to connect with people with counselors or mental health education. It’s amazing to watch God bring health and healing through this work, but sometimes I have to remind myself to follow my own advice. Everyone needs to take care of their mental health—including me.
There are days when I’m not okay. In fact there are days when I’m sad, angry or downright miserable. I’ve had quite a few of those days lately, and I’ve noticed that sometimes people are uncomfortable with my “not okay-ness.” Has this ever happened to you?
My sweet friends and family want to fix me. I appreciate their love and encouragement. In fact, I’ve benefited greatly from their wise advice. But sometimes this urgency to solve and sooth can leave us avoiding the real issues that have brought us to this crisis in the first place.
Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. Maybe that’s where you are today.
During the past few weeks I dropped my son off for college, I lost a friend to suicide, and I have been dealing with chronic pain that is making it hard to sleep. Needless to say, it’s been overwhelming.
I’m the Director of Mental Health for His Heart Foundation, I have this You Tube channel about breaking the stigma of mental illness, and I’m struggling. So I took a step back and I thought, yeah it’s normal to struggle in the face of grief, chronic pain, and stress. I’m not immune to needing help. I’m right here with everyone else dealing with the hard things of life.
If you’re facing a season where things are not okay, I want to ask you a few questions that I’ve asked myself in this process…
Do you need to grieve a loss or a failure?
If so, allow yourself the space to do that. I’m actually really sad about my son leaving for college. I miss him every day. It hit me hard in the middle of taco night this week, but instead of being honest with my family I just kept it in. I wanted to cry, but I felt like maybe I was being dramatic. But that’s such a lie. It’s okay to grieve.
Do you need to walk through a previous trauma with a trusted counselor?
Sometimes we haven’t even acknowledged that we’ve been through a trauma and we are just dealing with the symptoms of depression or anxiety and not the root of the issue. If you’re wondering about this for yourself, I’ll put a couple of links in the notes below for an amazing trauma course, and a way for you to connect to a counselor.
Do you need to renew your focus?
There are days where our circumstances are simply overwhelming. That’s how I’ve felt these past few weeks. How can I even take in the unexpected death of my friend or the fact that a year post op, my pain isn’t improving? All I know it’s that I can’t fix these situations, but I can focus on praising God in the middle of it all. That changes my heart, and it gives me perspective that is clear, no matter what’s going on.
Rushing through uncomfortable feelings so that we can appear to be “okay” will only lead us back to the place we are trying to avoid. Take a deep breath and take this season one step at a time. God is with you—you are not alone!
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29 (NIV)
What do you do when you are “not okay”? I’d love to hear from you today, comment below.
Please subscribe for videos on our Youtube Channel for our amazing resources. I’ll be sharing great tips and encouragement for whatever your facing—whether you’re fighting mental illness or have a loved one who is.
Connect to a counselor: https://hisheartfoundation.org/request-a-counselor-referral/
Mental Health Academy Trauma Course: https://mentalhealth.academy/course/trauma-how-to-understand-and-respond-to-it/