No, I am not okay.
I expected a strong reaction to my recent post about infidelity. I expected people to argue with me, to get angry with me, to tell me that cheating is never ever okay (it isn’t) and it was a coward’s way out (it is). I expected people to tell me the Viking deserves better, to ask me if I’d spoken with him before publishing it. I didn’t expect the reaction I got.
“Are you okay?”
“You need to talk to someone”
“I know the name of a good counsellor”
“This article is screaming ‘I need help'”
It may seem flippant to say so, but I thought it was pretty obvious I am not okay.
I thought I’d even said as much in the article itself, explaining how I was struggling and unhappy. In my posts before that about being scared to turn 30 and heartbroken I had no kid, in my post about the grief of infertility.
Yet, people still seemed surprised that I wasn’t coping. That I wasn’t okay.
And I think I’ve figured it out – there is still stigma surrounding mental illness. Still stigma associated with not being okay. We have come a long way and it’s quite often now you’ll hear people say “It’s okay to not be okay” when they’re referring to someone they think is not okay. But when you’re not, and you openly admit it, people just don’t know what to do.
This is unchartered territory. This is where the platitude ends. This is where all our de-stigmatising and theorising has brought us, and we don’t have any tools to deal with what comes next.
So I thought I’d be the first one to say it: It is okay that I am not okay.
You’re going to be alright.
Nothing is going to happen.
It is okay.
I am not okay. But I will be.
Author’s Note, 7:53am 16/06/2015: I did not intend for this piece to read like I do not appreciate the concern expressed for my wellbeing. I meant this piece to be an acknowledgement of my knowledge that I’m not okay, and a reassurance that it will all be okay.
I do appreciate it. Very much so. Every time someone asks if I’m okay, I appreciate it, I am grateful that they care, and then I don’t know what to do next either. I don’t know how to respond. People ask me if I need anything and the honest answer is I don’t know. If I did, perhaps this piece would have been titled “6 Ways To Help Someone Who Isn’t Okay” but it isn’t, and here we are.
I would like to apologise to anyone who felt hurt by this piece and to let you know I certainly didn’t mean to hurt you.
I am really sorry.