We live in a world where society tells us that we should be happy. But, the reality is that’s not always possible. We tell ourselves that showing our sadness is a sign of weakness. We all have bad days, some major setbacks, days when it feels like everything bad that can happen is happening, and one thing is going wrong after another and another and another. Then someone asks that question “Are you okay?” and you just want to scream and shout “NO!! I am not okay”. But instead, you say “I’m Okay”.
Because our culture isn’t too keen on being honest about our pain. Truth is people are putting on a front of perfection in order to keep people from knowing how they are truly feeling.
IMAGINE! Imagine you fall over (it’s a pretty bad fall) you break your arm. You are in a lot of pain but, you refuse to go to the hospital to get help. I mean it’s only a broken arm, right? What harm can it do? It’s embarrassing asking for help. What will people think? You might have to take a few weeks off work. You don’t want people to think you are weak. Day after day you look at your broken arm and it’s getting worse and worse, you cover it up and put on a brave face. You then become weaker and weaker and weaker and then you PASS OUT.
That sounds ridiculous, right?
The stigma attached to mental health really needs to end!!
Kevin Breel puts it “If you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast, but if you tell people you are depressed, everyone runs the other way”. People find it harder to deal with the stigma than the mental illness itself. Too many people are scared and made to feel isolated and ashamed and will suffer silently making it harder to recover.
It’s okay to not be okay!
I t s O k a y T o C r y
“We need never be ashamed of our tears” – Charles Dickens
It’s okay to admit you are hurting, broken, or even confused about life itself. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to let it all out. By pretending everything is okay when it really isn’t, does not solve your problems or worries. If you are having a bad day and feel the need to cry, let out all the anger, sadness, anxiety, and stress.
As I mentioned before our culture isn’t too keen on being honest about our pain or sadness. It feels like we are expected to always be happy. I’m sure we have all come across posts, magazine articles and self-help books all trying to teach us the ‘art of happiness’. A passage by Hugh Mackay really got me thinking who states that instead of striving for happiness we should strive for wholeness.
“… It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying, “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfilment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much.”
We learn so much from our sadness, our grief, our mistakes, and our failures these should be embraced more just as much as our successes.
Sometimes the worst things in life can actually be the biggest blessings in disguise.