Because ...of course...it's not ok to be not ok...because everything must be just fine. People are uncomfortable when things aren't fine, and if you're not fine, you must be weak, and weakness is definitely not ok.
So everything is fine.
Over the last few months, as I've been trying to process through all of my own emotional turmoil, one thing has really stuck out...
The older we get, the less "not fine" we're supposed to be.
As adults, we're supposed to have it figured out. We're supposed to not let it bother us. We wear these "everything is just fine" costumes and if we take off that costume for even just one moment, we feel like we're somehow failing at being grown ups. We look to other adults for guidance, and all we see are a bunch of other adults dressed up in their "everything is just fine" costumes. And then we see young people who know that such a costume exists, but are just a bit braver about not wearing the same thing as everyone else.
I don't want to dress like this anymore.
Everything is NOT just fine. Some things are good. Some things are not very good. But without a doubt, everything is not fine.
My husband and I had a horrible fight this week. I held onto myself so tightly for support that I woke up today with my arm covered in tiny, self inflicted, fingerprint sized bruises. I woke up ashamed of the mean things I said. I woke up hurt by the mean things he said. We both woke up and tried the same conversation, with a little more honesty, a little more kindness and a little more patience with each other. We're ok.
We're better than ok.
Last night I danced by myself. Great, leaping, jumping, absolutely horrible dancing. It felt really good. It felt fine. It felt like joy.
I miss my joy...it's nice to see her coming back around.
The other night was scary slow at the bar. My anxiety kicked into overdrive and I wondered if people were not coming out because they knew I was working, and maybe they preferred someone else to serve them their drinks? I mentally made next week's grocery list, which was made up of mostly ramen noodles. That's not just fine. That sucks.
I hate irrational concerns and I hate ramen noodles.
Today I hammered words into metal, sewed a thing, used a drill and yelled proudly "Look what I made!"
That was very fine.
I am fine and I am not fine. But I am finding inspiration in the brave people all around me. I am finding a place for myself alongside people who were always there, but I could not see...not with this "everything is just fine" costume obscuring my view.
I am connecting more with people now when I am not fine than I ever did when everything was just fine.
Everything is not fine...and that's ok.
I'm inspired by and finding hope through these people, stories, songs, links etc. this week:
Beautiful, empowering poetry by Rupi Kaur
The community at the church I've been attending and this song by Lifehouse.
“You tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake…You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that.” ~ Warsan Shire
I used to go to Thirty-Thirty Coffee Company every week. And then everything fell apart and I was scared to go anywhere. I've been challenging myself to go back again, and each time I do, the familiar feeling of wanting to burst into tears and crawl inside my own skin and hide comes roaring back...but literally EVERYONE who works at Thirty-Thirty is kind, compassionate, caring and just...really nice. And the coffee is amazing.
Silly putty. I try to carry it with me where ever I go and instead of clutching myself for dear life, to the point of injury, I just destroy this little ball of putty.
Mary Lambert and all of her "secrets."
The family and friends of Madison Holleran for using Madison's story and their loss to bring awareness to the issues surrounding depression. The facebook site set up in her memory is dedicated to suicide prevention and ending the stigma attached to mental illness.