How many times do you hear someone tell you that they are okay when you know that their reality is far from it? It’s a turn of phrase that many of us use for a number of reasons. Maybe we say the term in the context it is meant for, when life is content and nothing new, “Yeah, I’m okay thanks!”. Maybe in a moment of anger through gritted teeth? Or maybe the most common, when we really don’t want to talk about how we are feeling and just want the integration of our emotions to be suspended?
All of these ways of using the term okay are usually deemed well and accepted. However, what happens when we reply that actually, we are not okay? I know if I replied to the conventional how are you with an “I’m not okay” many people whom I associate with wouldn’t know how to respond. If they did respond it would be with a sympathetic nonchalant answer, “Awwww, that’s not good! I’m sure things will get better!”.
But why is it not okay to not be okay? Why do people naively assume that things will get better and not just accept that in that moment things aren’t okay and that’s fine?
For myself personally, I often struggle greatly with my mood, and I’m not talking mood swings here I genuinely struggle to functions sometimes due to my emotions.
I often feel that if I tell people who know me that actually for the past few years I’ve not been okay and even though my life appears to be good at the moment I still can’t shake myself out of the weight my emotions carry me.
I will openly admit that maybe I do have undiagnosed mental health issues but why do my issues have to be diagnosed? Why can’t it be accepted to not be okay?
Mental health is something that I am passionate about, not just personally but professionally in my role as an educator. We need to bring the future generations into a society where the taboo on mental health is alleviated and we don’t squirm when someone tells us that they are not okay and instead we say “okay, how can I help?”
“To be healthy as a whole, mental wellness plays a role.”