It Is Okay to Not Be Okay

by - February 27, 2017

My friend and I sat in my car. Dark night. Frosty February air. Broken down. Not the car. Us. They say that when it rains it pours, but for us a torrent of hail had turned into a blizzard. Perhaps that sounds over dramatic, but in that moment, that was what we felt like.

Earlier, we had put on our brave, smiling faces, saying that even though we were having a hard time we were still okay. But in that moment, we knew we couldn’t fool each other. There is something about a friend who can look at you for barely a moment and know what is truly going on beneath the surface. Beneath the “I’m fines” and “I’m okays”, they can tell you are not yourself before you do. Such friends are invaluable. We both knew the simple truth: we were not okay.

We were heartbroken. We were stressed and tired. We were hurt and confused. We sought relief but found that the pain lingered after we fought our hardest to be strong. We were not okay.

Sitting there, as friends who knew the pain, who knew what it felt like to not be okay, we realized that it was okay.

It was okay to not be okay.

It was okay to admit that we hurt. It was okay to not have all the answers. It was okay to cry. And by cry I mean weep, sob. Not a pretty cry with a few tears streaming down your face like in the movies. The kind of cry where you cannot stop. You cannot remember when you started crying nor do you have any idea when it will cease. Your eyes are red and puffy. Your eyeballs sting in their sockets. Mascara streams down, making it look like you rubbed dirt on your face. Your chest hurts from gasping for air.

And worst of all your heart. You understand the meaning of heartbreak. There's pain, anger, sorrow, anguish, bitterness, emptiness, loneliness, confusion, and a myriad of other emotions that you cannot describe all running through your blood, and you cannot decide which one is strongest right now. All you know is that you hurt.

I may not know you, reader (although there is a good chance you are my mom or one of my friends), but I know that the pain of heartbreak is real. I know that sometimes life sucks, and you feel like you have lost control. Each heartbreak compounds on the last and grows exponentially. You feel so broken, and wonder if you will ever feel whole again.

People try to tell you that you will be okay. That things will get better. That you will learn from this experience and be a stronger person for it. But that is not what you want to hear. The pain is too acute to be assuaged by the well wishes and good intentions of others. Sometimes all you need is to have a friend remind you that it is okay to not be okay.

Because you are not alone. And it is okay to not be okay.

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