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When I am NOT okay, (usually triggered by stress, anxiety, relationship drama, illness, eating disordered thoughts of some kind etc.) I have some decisions to make. In the moment they don’t feel like decisions. In the moment they feel like temptations.

I struggle to identify emotions sometimes so if I don’t put a lot of thought into it: I have two choices: I’m good or I’m bad, and if I’m “bad” I try to fix it with behaviors. I’ve learned though, that it never actually works. My behaviors never fix anything (except maybe a temporary relief or distraction), but after the feeling is worse.

So today, when I’m not okay, I try to ask myself why. It doesn’t make it better, but it makes it more tolerable. Then I look for ways to help me deal with the emotion, like writing, talking to my therapist, doing an art project. Sometimes though the emotion is too intense and I need to distract in healthy ways. If that’s the case then I watch my favorite TV show, take a nap, go for a walk, call a friend etc.

In life sometimes we are going to be NOT okay. It’s part of life, and it’s a hard part. Below is a poem I wrote titled “Not Okay”. It used to be so much easier for me to pretend I was okay when I wasn’t but that was not healthy either.

Not Okay
By: Erin

In this moment I don’t feel okay
My thoughts are a mess and I don’t know what to say
Tears could fall and shed
But I choose to appear “strong” instead

This is rough
Haven’t I had enough?

I just wish….
This moment would pass right by
So I can stop wanting to cry
And I can invest in the life around me
And take the moment and just ‘be’

Just be the person that is me
Whoever that happens to be
I guess when I feel better we shall see