Ben's Friends

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

It’s okay to not have the perfect life, believe it or not, social media aside, no one has a life of perfection.

It’s okay to not be okay and admit it. It’s okay to struggle and to be open with those who are close to you. By admitting that you are not okay, you are giving your family, your friends and your church the opportunity to step up.

Now I want to talk about another aspect of that. What happens if you don’t know what to do about whatever you are not okay with?

If you hate going to work in the morning – but don’t know what to do about it.

If you don’t have a work to go to in the morning – and can’t seem to find a reason to get up.

If your kids are struggling at school.

If your health is failing.

If (insert a thousand other possibilities here)…and you don’t know what to do.

Then what? I don’t know. I’ve been in that place many times, in some ways, I’m in that place right now. But here’s some lessons that I have learned while in that place of not knowing:

Lean on those you can trust. Family, close friends, walk through your struggles with someone. It is a lot less lonely when you can do that. Sometimes it takes finding people online who understand when no one locally might understand.

Care for the ones you love. While you don’t know what to do about your problem, don’t forget the ones you love have problems, too, care about them, be present with them.

Don’t be afraid to sit with the uncertainty and the pain that comes from being “not okay.” Don’t bury the pain and frustration because then it comes back out in more difficult ways. Give yourself the okay to be not okay with being not okay.

Don’t worry about what’s going to happen in three hours. Focus on the here and now. Talk to someone - a teacher, a minister, a friend, a counselor, a spouse. Someone who can help you walk through what you’re walking through right now. Take heart in the fact that while you might not know what to do about “it,” you do have a future. It might not be the one you were expecting, but it’s still yours. Fight for it. Concentrate on getting from here to there…

Don’t forget you have much to offer. . Yes, even while you are in the “not okay” phase and even while you are struggling to figure out what you need to do about what you are “not okay” about, don’t forget to look around and see who you can help. Whether it’s someone else walking the same road or someone with a totally different need for help, keep your eyes open for opportunities to serve others. It just might provide you with the “breath of fresh air” that you need to help you make it through another day of hard places.

It’s okay to not be okay.It’s okay to not know what to do about it. It’s okay to simple get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day – and it’s even better when you help someone else who is “not okay” do the same.

I know, I’ve been there.

I know, I am there.

ARTICLE NOTE: If you want to get started volunteering it’s suggested you get in touch with local resources such as your local library or community center. You can also go online to places like www.volunteermatch.org and www.justserve.org and www.idealist.org for possible ideas, locations, and ways to lend a hand. Or, simply do an online search for volunteering opportunities.

AUTHOR INFO: This article was written by Tom V, a USA-based community member from AVM Survivors. A dad of 8 (5 human, 3 canine, 5 of which were adopted) when he’s not hanging out with family, he’s writing a Christian-based blog (http://tomvanderwell.net ) and informally counseling human adoptive families. One of the biggest joys in Tom’s life is being married to his high school sweetheart for 34 years.