It’s okay not to be okay

I’m tired. That’s how I usually explain it.

Some days, I wake up and I’m the happiest I have ever been, I feel this excitement straight from deep within which cannot be explained and I don’t usually stop to think about it because for me, that’s a gift. A gift I must hold tightly onto, and enjoy every single second of, because once that’s gone, I don’t know when it will come around again. Especially, now.

Most days, I wake up and I’m anxious; an unexplainable anxiety clawing at my insides, making everything an effort, making every action difficult.
On the really dark days, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to see anybody or speak to anybody, everything is an effort, my phone rings and my heart starts beating really fast. I hear people moving around the house, and my heart starts beating fast that they might come to speak to me, that they might require me to be normal.

My life isn’t sad. I have an absolutely awesome family. My dad has spent his life making sure that we have the best kind of love. I have amazing friends who care about me and who “know” me… I have every reason to be thankful, to be happy, to be beyond happy. There’s so much good in my life.

And yet, I am not happy.

And I have gotten so good at hiding it, at trying so hard to just be. I pretend I’m happy, I pretend I’m having fun, I pretend I want to be there, I pretend I’m fine. I try really hard because I don’t want to feel like this, It’s like this constant drowning feeling, or as if something is weighing me down. One day, I am so happy and the next day, like a switch was flipped in my head, I’m not.

I don’t know how to be happy. This sounds like a completely horrible thing but I simply can’t let go enough, this anxiety doesn’t ease up enough. And fun? its just not that much fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun.

And now, recently, it’s gotten even worse, my okay days are far between. Those days when I don’t want to get out of bed are the most common; so if I do get up, I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to hear my thoughts, I just want to push through the day and get it over with.

I’m tired though. And now, I’m tired of pretending that I’m fine. I’m tired of making the effort when I really don’t want to. I never know how to explain this, I never have the words, so I just say I’m tired… in my mind.
And I’m ashamed of how I feel, so I pretend that I’m not feeling it. I pretend I am fine. I put on a big smile and tell my therapist “everything is awesome”. And I’ve gotten so good at it. I’ve been doing it for years.
Crying one minute and laughing on the phone the next.
I’ve learnt to keep the tears on one side and continue when I’m alone. I’ve learnt to cry in a crowd and no one notices.
I’ve learnt how to pretend I’m fine.

Why am I writing this?
For two sets of people; someone who gets it and someone who needs someone to get it.

Talk to someone, it will help. tell them exactly how you feel, in the words you feel them, it feels stupid, I know, but just say them, with that one person, at least, you’ll feel less crazy, the voices will quieten, you won’t be so scared of the silence.

I’m trying to not be so ashamed of this; maybe it’s okay not to have an answer when someone asks, “why are you sad?”

The first day, I saw my therapist, she told me that “a suicide attempt is a crime punishable by jail-time in this country”… I’m not afraid of dying though. Most of the time, I’m afraid of living… But I won’t stop, I won’t quit.

I wrote these lines a long time ago “I’ll work it out, I’ll see you through, this is the life I meant for you”.

So, I simply have to remember that I don’t have to struggle alone, I don’t have to do it all by my own effort.


©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


14 thoughts on “It’s okay not to be okay

  1. I also pretend that I’m fine. You say you cry then laugh, I wish I could have those 2 emotions. But I can’t cry or laugh. I feel nothing. Is nothing a feeling or absence of emotion? Just wondering if you understand what I’m going through.

  2. I understand. I can’t talk to anyone when I’m not feeling great on a particular day because I don’t feel it necessary to share it with them. It adds to it when people are expecting things of you on your not so great days and you can’t say no.

    • Exactly! And for me, particularly, I feel burdened with the responsibility to make everything seem just fine, like I would worry or confuse people. So, I pretend that I am and push through. I’ve learnt though that eventually, it gets to you.
      Thank you for reading and the comment.

  3. Mo' says:

    Funny how there’s a good number of “us” out there. People are quick to call it depression but really it’s not – it’s a state of mind that only “we” understand. Just when you think you have words to express it and you tell someone, you realize you didn’t quite do justice to capturing the entire feeling… We are still humans all the same.

    • So, if you “don’t have the words to express it” what makes you so sure that it isn’t depression. I really do believe that we as a people are very quick to brush things things aside and discard them as nothing… let’s think about this in a different way… okay, let’s not tag it as depression, but you do agree that there’s a feeling of being sad and not having the words to express it, right? Well, then, acceptance is the first step towards healing, what it is called doesn’t really matter.

  4. Didi, your thoughts are authentic, however there is a spiritual dimension to this. Say only what you want to see, and not what you feel or how you feel. That is the only way you would heal and feel better. #talkingfromexperience.

    • Gboeyega, I spent years doing that… you’ve known me and spent time during some of those years, I did it through 2 suicide attempts… you knew me, I was quick to laugh, I put people first, I never talked about how I felt, I started seeing a psychiatrist in 2009 and I resented her for telling me anything other than this is all normal… I was very ashamed of myself, of how I was.
      I truly believe that many Nigerians for whatever reason still have trouble accepting that illnesses exist fot many many reasons and it is okay to accept them and seek help.
      I’m rambling, I’m sorry but I do not agree with you… people are different and feel different things and you can’t simply chuck up whatever people feel to be the exact same thing you feel

  5. #TheSleekWriter says:

    It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to hear those voices, it’s okay to decide to speak on behalf of those voices, when the messages become clear and emptied, the voices will stop and your purpose begins. You are my superstar

Please say something. I love reading your comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s