7 Points on Pretending to be Okay

Everything will be okay.

Everything will be okay.

Everything will be okay.

There are countless articles, books, and newsletters out there that focuses on the topic of depression, grief, anxiety, hopelessness and failure. Everyone had been through or is going through a time of their lives wherein it feels like there is no end and no brighter light. Trust me. It will all be fine eventually.

Everything will be okay.

I am not an expert. I am not a Psychology major. I just know how it feels. Tough times are hard. I have gotten over some and am assured that I will have to get over some more. It is a cycle. It is a cycle that formed me into the person that I am today. Those professional reading materials can be hard to follow. They appear so distant and so artificial. So, until we could have the strength to pick up and actually follow those notes or until we find the heart to ask for help, here are some points on how to get by.

1. Fake it until you make it.

Yeah, you read it. Smile. Laugh. Go out. Live your life as if nothing happened. Downtime is needed too but give it a time limit. Say, grieve all you want for two days. After that, live as if it did not happen. Do something to keep yourself entertained or busy. Be productive. Hang out. If that is too much then allow yourself a good cry a few minutes everyday or every other day. After that, collect yourself and move on. You can allow yourself to think about it and make it a habit to lessen the time you give to that activity until you don’t think about it anymore. It is like teaching yourself a new habit. This habit is to be able to move on.

2. Find a reason to be okay.

When I started writing, I created this roleplaying character. I honestly can’t remember what name did I give him so, for this, his name is yours. His story goes like this…

*Your Name Here* is a 18-year-old studying at the local community college. He (or She) is the oldest of seven children. He works for the school paper as its official photographer. He also works for the school library as a part of the Student Assistant Program which grants him full scholarship. He could bee seen usually sitting under the acacia tree by the school gardens with a mess of notes around him while taking pictures of his dad’s old Pentax film camera. Once his little siblings come out of class, he packs up and walks them home.

Their family is not well-off as they get by with enough to feed nine mouths three times a day with their dad’s salary as a welder at the construction site. That is if they are lucky. Yet, they were happy. *Your Name Here* was content as he and the rest of his siblings were formed and raised under the values of compassion, understanding, and faith.

Two years ago, an accident at the construction site killed fourteen workers. *Your Name Here* ‘s father is one of them. With as little as nothing left to their name, his family falls to the ground. *Your Name Here* ‘s mother was stricken with grief. She would cry every single night, wailing her husband’s name. In the morning, her breakfast was beer and then she would go out and search for something to smoke on. She lost it. *Your Name Here* was forced to be the father and the mother for his six younger siblings.

Every morning, he would wake up early to make breakfast and prepare the little ones to school. Only those with scholarships like him continued with their schooling. The rest were forced to stop and the youngest two are about to start schooling in a year or so. He lessened the frequency of his classes to be able to still accommodate his shifts at the library and his new job as a part-time barista at the local coffee shop in order to fund for their daily needs. Sometimes, he would get paid for his photography skills in different gigs. The money he gets from there gets saved in hopes that it would accumulate enough to send one sibling back to school. After school, he would walk his siblings home and that is where he would continue on his work on the school paper.

There are many times that *Your Name Here* wanted to quit. He wanted to blame his dad for dying on them. He wanted to blame his mom for leaving all responsibility with him. He was young. He was not supposed to have the life that he had. Things were already hard as it is. Yet, he thought of his siblings. If he gives up then what would happen to them? They would all be sent to different foster homes or they would be homeless or they would get in trouble or worse. He can’t stomach that that would be his fault. So, he continues on. Perhaps it will get better. Maybe. Next semester, *Your Name Here* already has enough money to send one sibling back to school after two years of stopping.

3. We ALL have been through tough times.

It is part of the circle of life. Trials hone us to be better. The best doctors did not receive their prestige by only doing tonsil extraction. There will always be an end. There will always be light after that tunnel no matter how long it may be.

We ALL had it hard. We are not alone. There will always be someone who will be experiencing or will experience the same pain that you are going through. There will always be someone who will understand. Perhaps, you are battling alone but there is someone who is battling alone also. There is someone there who will willingly give you a hug. There is comfort in numbers. There is a reason why there are billions of people in the world.

4. Love your pride.

There was a point in my life that I was down. I hit so low that I was planning on ending it. I was really planning on ending it. I was screwing things up from one point to another. I have made enemies with people that mattered to me. Home did not feel like home anymore. Even going out was a drag.

I did not push with it. Besides giving myself reasons to fight, I thought of the possibility of what may happen if I did end myself. My family was not rich so they would be financially crippled. My mom would probably be cursing me until her dying day. Then, I did not want to be the person that people will talk about. I did not want to be the person who gave up because… My pride won’t allow that.

In many occasions, my pride saved me from destroying myself by reminding me that I could do anything. I won’t be pushed by such a petty reason. I am my queen. A queen does not bow down to any adversary. So, eventually, I came over it. Now, I am a stronger person that is prepared to face stronger trials until I can be the strongest that I could be.

5. It’s okay not to be okay.

A common belief is that negativity is wrong. Even the people whom I admire the most believes that. For me, negativity is a need. Besides the bad things, it brings out compassion, sympathy, and helpfulness in people. Negativity drives people to be prepared. There is an old saying that it is quite foolish of one to go to war without bringing a gun. For me, negativity helps me not only bring a gun but a first-aid kit too.

So, being in that well is fine. Being sad is okay. Crying is okay. Why? Because you become more prepared for more trials. Why? Oh, honey, there will definitely be more trials. Those trials are worth it. It makes success sweeter. Light shines brighter. Plus, every smile that you make becomes warmer. The essence of positivity becomes more appreciated and savoured when we experienced hardship to get to it. Embrace the sadness. It is a part of you. Denying negativity is like forgetting that roses have thorns.

By the way, I recommend the movie Inside Out. That is one whole of feels.

6. ‘Man’ and ‘Mistakes’ rhyme.

Technically, they don’t. I meant is that they are synonymous. Perhaps, I should have put ‘Man and Mistakes have the same meaning’. It doesn’t sound catchy so there.

Every creation story from every region of the world had the same theme. Man made a mistake so they had to pay for it. From the beginning, man was bound to experience failure. None of us is perfect thus it is quite foolish to expect perfection from someone else. The time that you are experiencing now may be the result of your own fault. We all make mistakes. It is true that the first step to forgiveness is accepting within yourself that you made the mistakes. It lessens the occurrence of sleepless nights wherein a person would think over and over what happened and wishing that it never did. There is no turning back. It already happened. Have the peace of mind to accept that it was an event that could not helped. Perhaps, the hardship that you are experiencing may be the result of someone else’s fault. There is no point in blaming. It won’t change the past. The better thing to do is to work around it. If the person involved is indifferent then that is a more reason to move on. Wallowing in that case becomes your losing ticket. Would you accept that you are the one moping and the other person does not care? Might as well move on. In the case that the cause of your pain is inevitable. There is no one to blame and no one to apologize to. Accept that it happened and mourn. Grieve. It’s okay to be not okay. Then, move forward. Unless you are a plant, one cannot grow while doing nothing. Remember, only God is perfect, no matter what he is to you.

7. Pay it forward.

There is a typical reasoning among people that we cannot help others when we cannot even help ourselves. I find that terribly wrong. I believe that we should have more motivation to help others when we are in the dumps. We know how hard it would feel and we know what it feels like to be alone. You may have overcome your obstacles then it is good to help others and support them in overcoming their own. There is a sense of fulfillment in helping which is why it is on the bucket list of some as the item of helping a total stranger.

If you are currently having problems then it is also a good time to help as well. We can subtly find help and comfort in being with a person going through the same pain as you. You may even help each other in support. Also, it takes your mind off your grief as you strive to help. Help does not only account to financial aid or favors. By merely listening and by extending sympathy, one is already helping as he is already extending that nothing is unconquerable when there is someone there to care.

There is a bittersweetness to sorrow as it forces us to be alone yet to be together. That could be one of the beautiful mysteries of life. Red is the color of love which is a curious color as it is borderline dark and light. Everything will be fine. As you find the courage to pick up that professional assistance, let me give you a hug.

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One thought on “7 Points on Pretending to be Okay

  1. Pingback: Reaching For The Star: The Liebster Award | Struggling to be a Human Being

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