It’s Okay to Not be Okay

It’s been a rough week. A raw, painful, hard, and seemingly endless week. I’ve found myself choking back tears more than I’ve found myself stifling a smile, and I keep telling myself that that’s not okay.

That I’ve “come too far” or “moved past this” or whatever other thing I’m saying to put myself down.

You see, “The Girl In Pain” doesn’t fit with my image of “The Girl In Recovery.” I like to tell myself that I’ve come too far in recovery to allow emotional losses to feel like a sucker punch in the gut. I ridicule myself for wanting to answer “yes” when my therapist asks me if I’m feeling depressed.

I couldn’t get out of bed today. I couldn’t shower and put on clothes and drive to campus and fake smile my way through my classes. The thought of interacting with other humans was painful and overwhelming and too foreboding of a challenge. So I stayed in bed and pretended to sleep until therapy.

I spent my session mostly in tears, something I have not done in a long time. Anguish seeps out through my pores like sweat, and I find myself in stage three of my grieving process. I have surpassed denial and seem to have moved past anger and into actual grief. Due to the injuries I sustained in the accident, my life is not currently colorful and vibrant. Just two months ago, I was filled with joy and content as I balanced school, work, and a busy social life.

Now I balance doctors appointments with time spent in bed due to migraine. I promised myself that I would never go back to that dark and stormy place inside my head, so finding myself feeling similarly is terrifying.

I wanted to write about it, but I didn’t want to spread negativity, as there is far too much of that in this world. But, I consider myself a proud advocate and example of recovery and mental health. The perfect “beyond the struggle” image I’ve held for about a year now is not the full, genuine truth.

This blog is called Unapologetically Me for a reason. I want to be honest, so here it goes:

  1. I’m not perfect, and recovery is not perfect. There are good days and bad, struggles, and triumphs, and wins and losses. Recovery is not some perfectly happy land full of sunshine and unicorns, but it is a place where you can come and see yourself exactly as you are and continue to work to make yourself better.
  2. I’m not “doing great.” That car accident knocked me down, hard. I’m trying to get back up, but there are challenges, and I’m not coping as well as I would like.
  3. I’m sorry to my loved ones. You can’t win with me right now. If you are sympathetic I get angry at you for babying me and if you are apathetic I become enraged that you are expecting too much from me. I know I am stubborn and angry and difficult, just love me through it. I need your support now more than ever.
  4. With that said, I have not self harmed, I have not restricted, I have not over exercised, and I have not even once allowed my thoughts to wander into suicidal territory. I am hurting, yes, but I am holding on to my recovery and I will never let go.

It’s okay to not be okay. Show yourself some love and compassion. Acknowledge and validate your pain and then work to heal. I am going to be okay, and so are you, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

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