It's Okay to Not Be Okay.

I think we all need to hear that right now. We’re all scared; some of us are in denial, which is making those of us who are scared even more so. Most of us are doing what we can to find some kind of peace and normalcy right now. But most of us are in some stage of panic, whether overt or covert.

But I don’t think there are very many of us who are “okay.” We’re doing our best to mitigate the high stress levels we’re under, looking to the things that comfort us most when things get bad: food, spirituality, nature, alcohol, sex, drugs, television, movies. Some people cope with the stress by sharing (oversharing) every news bit they come across while others are “all puppies, all the time.”

Sleeping dog with his blankie.
Toby has been loving having both of us around.

We’re all just barely holding on with our fingernails. We’re not all okay, not by a long shot. When you’re daily goal is just to “maintain,” then things are not good.

And that’s where we’re at right now.

Today was the first day in ten days I ventured out. I went to the grocery store, early. It was pretty empty of people, which was a relief. But every trip to a public place is increasingly scary. Then, when I got home, I received some less-than-good news. I did my best to self-calm, to self-soothe. But the dam broke. The stress that had been building behind that wall finally became too much.

I’m a little better now for the tears, and for the writing. I am glad that I have creativity to help with the overwhelm.

Please know that if it’s all too much for you right now, that’s okay. We’re all having moments where we break down, where we’re eating nothing but bread and cookies, where we’re finishing bottles of wine by ourselves. We’re all doing the best we can dealing with terrible circumstances within a broken system.

Eating the fucking gluten-full bread (if it won’t kill you).

Drink the fucking bottle of wine (if you’re not dry).

Binge-watch all 9,000 fucking seasons of Supernatural on Netflix.

But, you know, also maybe get some fresh air. Try to eat a carrot every now and then. And maybe drink some water in there, too. You are not a bad person for turning to less-than-stellar habits to get you through this.

We went for a people-less hike yesterday, then ate a dozen cookies between us. Toby didn’t get any.

And you are not weak if you break down and cry. Fucking cry as many times as you need to fucking cry, you beautiful human being.

It’s okay to not be okay. We’ll find okay again soon. I promise. It won’t be as soon as we’d like, but we’ll get there. And we’ll look up and smile. We’ll take a deep breath in, and as we exhale we’ll notice our shoulders finally relaxing down from our ears. The tense muscles in our jaw will let go. Someone will say something funny, and we’ll laugh. It’ll be natural, genuine.

In the meantime, cut yourself some slack. We’re all dealing with some intense shit right now. It’s okay that you’re not okay. We’ll be not okay together. From a distance of six feet, okay?