Are You Okay?

Two little words that mask a multitude of emotions and experiences.

Two little words that paper over bottomless chasms of hurt and disappointment.

Two little words that cement the thickest, highest walls of denial and regret.

Two little words.

I’m okay.

How many times have you answered a heartfelt, caring question with these words. The question of a relative, a friend or perhaps a complete stranger. Words that stumble out of your mouth. When inside all you want to do is scream and scream until your lungs collapse. Two little words. One huge lie.

I see so much pain on WordPress. I see broken people. People who are too scared or proud or whatever to speak the truth out loud. So they write it here. And it saddens me.

I’m broken as well. I’m not okay. But that is the first step. Admitting it to yourself. Facing up to the facade that you have constructed because that is what society expects of you.

Let me tell you. It’s okay to not feel okay. It’s okay to feel devastated and distraught be it through illness, addiction or bereavement. Or those million other demons that force us to our knees.

And why are you not okay? Because you are more than that. You are precious, unique and loved. You have a purpose and a plan. You are a message in a bottle. Adrift on a stormy sea for now but destined to settle one day on the beach of your destiny.

My name is Stephen and I’m not okay.

But I’m okay with that.

So let’s start again. How are you today?

91 thoughts on “Are You Okay?

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  1. This is a great post! It’s so easy to simply respond with “I’m okay.” I wish more people would seek out others and share what’s on their heart more.

    In fact, I caught myself starting to say “I’m okay” at my father in-laws funeral when someone asked me how I was doing. As I was saying it, I actually even said, “you know what? I was going to say, I’m okay. But, I’m not okay. I’m hurting. But, I WILL BE okay.” I know I appreciate other peoples’ honesty and I feel I need to be more honest about my feelings too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your authenticity. And I think all of your followers feel the same. Your blog name even reflects your willingness to peel back the superficial “I’m okay” mask and write to the heart of things… and that is something we all long to do–to be known and accepted despite our heartaches and regrets. So here we all are… drawn initially by the promised honesty in your blog title; we stick around because your truly relatable posts fulfill the promise of that title. Thank you! Great post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Beloved, I wonder if getting still and sitting comfortably, whether doing what I found helpful and invited friends to do in similar feeling situations: To slow myself down and listening to our breath for a while and imagine that as you breathe out you are letting love flow to all sentient beings and as you breathe in receive love from those doing the same wherever they are in the universe (it is a vast place and some being must be doing the same somewhere).

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  3. (Am new to blogging, and i must say, you make it worth the while)

    Just yesterday, i experienced the opposite. (and by the way i completely share your sentiments!) My sweetheart cousin asks me how i was doing, with all sincerity, i poured out, only to be told “its Okay”…..and ‘sweetheart” here I mean a whole confidante ! and thats the most i got!!! I began to question why i even bothered myself in the first place, if it was all worth it. Is it because its a male confidante and he feels am being a ‘girl’?, i wondered.

    Thank you for echoing this perspective.

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  4. This is great. A topic that comes up in CBT (therapy) a lot. Need to stop bottling emotions. Or as you put it with building those walls. It’s harder than it sounds to let someone in. I always say, why do I want to talk about it again after I’ve already dealt with it 67 times in my head? Great read… Thanks.

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  5. We say we are ok because we donโ€™t want to dig into explaining about why weโ€™re not ok… because most people only ask for the sake of it and donโ€™t want to know really. And we would feel even less ok for that lack of interest masked in concern..
    But when you find people who really want to know, yes, itโ€™s perfectly ok not to be ok and to say so. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Over here in South Africa, people greet by asking “How are you?”
    But it’s not a sincere question. Nobody listens for an answer, and if you answer honestly, you might upset someone who doesn’t care to hear it.

    I don’t?/em> greet this way because it offends me. I don’t like the insincerity of the question. But there’s this one guy, the security guard where I live, who always answers my “Hello” with “I’m fine”. It makes me sad too.

    Is it not like that over there?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is great, Stephen and Fionnuala. Despite just finding out that I have arthritis in my hip as well as my left foot at the age of 43 and may never be able to cross a half-marathon off my bucket list in this world, I am actually OK. Only by the grace of God, and only because I need Him and rely on Him every moment of every day! On my own, I am definitely NOT ok. ๐Ÿ™‚

    All around me are people in pain. My sisters’ families have a sort of civil war, a troubled teen, two troubled marriages… praying for God to show up mightily in ALL our lives so that we will have peace in Christ even though we have tribulation in the world.

    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
    (John 16:33)

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  8. I am not “okay” and I have not been “okay” for an extremely long time. I actually do not even know what “okay” feels like anymore. I say that I am “okay” and I am lying to myself.
    However, with God’s comfort and love for me He gives me strength that I do not have. I know ONE day I will be “okay” again. Until that happens, the power of prayer is all I have.

    Like

  9. I๏ธ adore this!! Itโ€™s so true. Today I๏ธ am anxious. So Iโ€™m ignoring emails, texts, messages..putting off responsibilities. Which only adds to my anxiety.. itโ€™s almost like a form of self destructing Bc Iโ€™m afraid of failing..
    thanks for sharing this, I๏ธ needed I๏ธt โ™ฅ๏ธ

    Like

  10. My answer depends on who asks the question. I am not going to bother a stranger with my issues and so I will just say: “Eh, I’ll be fine” and that seems sufficient. Some people ask you that, but you can see that they are not really waiting for you to answer, because either they want to tell you that they are not ok, or because they don’t really care and just walk to go about their day. I share my struggles with those who actually care. They (as I) are sure to follow up my (others’) “I’m fine” with “Are you sure?”.

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  11. Pondering my reply ~ ~ ~ mmm ~ ~ ~ I have an answer in the form of a question perhaps: What does the work okay mean to the person who is asking it at the time (can I look for the clues in the face of the person asking). So I would be “okay” to one person one day and the next it might be a different answer to the same person, asking the same question (if it was true that I was or was not okay). Wait Bexy, answer the bloody question will you!!! Oh right, ummm sure, self inspection of my physical, mental and perhaps what some call my spiritual side is healthy and content. I suggest and invite others to perhaps ask themselves the question “How am I?” and write down on a piece of paper the answers, then if there’s any negative things there on the piece of paper to see how you can help that person called you. Plus, the positive or negative more complex answers can be used to reply to those that you can trust who ask “How are you?” Have a blessed day people, this is the moment, this is the breath of life and the rollercoaster ride of discovery. List of things to do today: Breathe love, wash up, put the clothes out on the washing line, listen for birds song…

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  12. Beautiful, conscientous sentiment. I tend to have this mindset when responding to othersโ€™ โ€œHow are you?โ€s. Tend to run into honesty vs. difficulty. Do people want to hear about my problems?

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  13. Life breaks us all, to some extent. Your thoughts are kind and openly expressed – it is sad there are so few people ready to leave their windows open, to let the love flow out as well as in. As you infer, we are all in it together. Nice to meet you!

    Like

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