If you live in the US, you’ve likely heard about the Chapel Hill Shooting, which took the young lives of three Muslim students. It was an act of hatred and homegrown terrorism. Although this post isn’t to discuss how this tragedy should be talked about and the issue of islamophobia in America, it did inspire this post.
As I walked over to one friend who had tears in her eyes, she said to me”Itza, I’m okay.” At first I responded “I know you are.” Soon I changed my response to “It’s okay not to be okay.” We’re often told with loss or grief or personal struggles after some magical, unknown amount of time that we should be over whatever it is leaving us uneasy. If we haven’t reached that point by that unknown, deemed time society looks at us funny.
But we are all operating on different times, with different factors and variants and experiences in our lives that makes it easier or more difficult for us to cope and reconcile with what we are enduring. There are some events you don’t simply “get over”. You discover a way to create a new norm; the hurt or anger or fear or disappointment might not be as profound as it once was. Perhaps you are able to live your day to day happily, but there will be days that you aren’t okay. They’ll sneak up on you out of the blue and change your vibes.
It’s important to acknowledge when you aren’t okay,because constantly telling that lie and trying manage your personality under false pretense is going to drive you insane and be a detriment to you mental health. If you get to the point of feeling bogged down, seek help. There is no shame of in acknowledging your feelings. There is no shame in not being happy or peppy or lively all the time.
So whether you’re struggling academically, experiencing issues with your family, having a hard time adjusting to new development in life, or you’ve suffered from a great loss know you aren’t alone. Know you don’t have to have it all together. Know that it is okay to acknowledge your true feelings.
Take care of yourself and live the best life you possibly can given your current positionality in the world.