It’s Okay Not to be Okay: A TMI Story

Heads up: This is a bit of a departure from my usual helpful, sunny content. See the end of this post for resources that can help if you need to speak to someone. Your mental health matters. While it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, it’s also okay to get the help you need.

I’m a massive extrovert. Like, a talk to strangers on streetcars, dance like nobody’s watching, put my life out there in TMI detail, kind of extrovert.

But there’s also a stark difference between what people see on the surface, and what’s actually happening.

I woke up this morning, and I was so tired. The idea of putting on proper pants, makeup, heels, and a happy shiny face absolutely abhorrent to me. Don’t get me wrong: I have a job I love, colleagues I genuinely enjoy, and I work on stuff I give a lot of f**ks about. The tired wasn’t physical. It wasn’t the sort of tired where you wake up, and know you hadn’t gotten enough sleep. The tired was deeper. It was mental. And it’s been building for a while, so I know it’s not just a day of feeling yucky. It’s prolonged.

See, even massive extroverts have a hard time processing sometimes (I’m generalizing, but from my life experiences, I’ve seen this to be true). A lot of people assume that all of us out there who live life turned up to 11 don’t waste time on anything below the superficial.

But, sometimes, the world gets a little too people-y. A little too loud. A little too much.

I live and love so fiercely, life hurts badly sometimes. I’m hurting right now. And I’m learning to be still in that pain. To embrace it and care for myself as if I were caring for a small child. To pour myself the hot drink, to take a day to work from home on projects I love, to wear leggings instead of pants, to wrap myself in a blanket, to cry a little when I need to (because something I want very much is looking like it’s ending). And, even though I don’t have much of an appetite right now, to eat a cookie because it brings me a moment of delicious pleasure. Most importantly, to learn to tune in to what I need in the moment instead of trying to outrun the feelings.

This morning, I realized that my soul is aching for something. It’s something that my typical routines aren’t fulfilling. It’s something that, because I’m not quite sure what it is, I can’t set goals to achieve yet. I’m sure, in time, it will reveal itself. But right now, I need to sit in stillness, feeling a little pain in my heart, in order to try to make my world right again.

Resources:

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AN IMMEDIATE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS – call 911 or visit your nearest hospital’s emergency room

List of Canadian Crisis Hotlines

Canadian Mental Health Association: Find your CMHA Branch

Kids Help Phone (for youth)

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