It's OK to Say, "I'm Not OK."
Last week here in Australia was ‘R U OK?' week. It’s a vision for a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.
If anyone had asked me prior to last week if I was okay, my answer would have been, “No.” I haven’t “been okay” for a while and I’m just now able to admit that without any feelings of guilt. It’s okay to not be okay!
I’ve struggled to settle over the last eight months since moving from the country to the city, mainly because there have been so many changes to deal with, all at once: moving to a new city, my youngest starting school after I’ve had thirteen straight years of being a stay-at-home mum, and making new friends. It’s felt very overwhelming and has left me asking questions like…
- “What on earth is wrong with me?”
- “Why can’t I just pull it together?”
- “What’s my purpose?”
- “Am I really needed any more?”
It’s been hard; really hard. But God is faithful. That is not a cliché or something I say lightly. I honestly don’t know how people walk through this broken world without a belief or hope in a Creator that is holding everything, including my life, together. He’s been faithful to bring along the right people at the right time to help me – because I finally was willing to admit I needed some help.
Needing help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, I believe it’s the exact opposite because it takes a great deal of humility and courage to admit we don’t have it all together and to ask for help. But so what if it is weakness to ask for help? The important thing is getting help right? Especially when we have others depending on us to make it.
The turning point for me came on a Monday morning just a few short weeks ago. I had dropped all the kids at school, done my grocery shopping for the week and was headed home. All I really wanted to do was run away. Of course, I’m too responsible to do that; but I felt like it.
I turned the radio on and heard these words in a song: “you shouldn’t be drowning on your own.” As I heard that phrase, God spoke to me and said, “Call someone! Tell them you’re not okay and ask them for help.” So I did. It didn’t happen instantly (because people are busy) but a significant weight had already been lifted knowing I had told someone how I was feeling.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I had a few different encounters with some amazing people who were able to listen, without judgment. I mean REALLY listen. They helped me navigate through the crazy thoughts in my head. Today I am in a place where I can actually see the wood for the trees, and it’s a beautiful place.
If I could leave you with one piece of advice, it would be this: please ask someone today if they’re okay, and be prepared to listen and try to help if they tell you they’re not. My Mum always said, “a problem shared is a problem halved” and someone out there needs you today, more than you know!