It’s ok to not be ok.
I’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy lately (mainly because I’m trying to catch up, I’ve just started season 12, don’t judge me) and let me just say, there’s a lot happening on that show, like A LOT. Sometimes you just don’t know which crisis to focus on. And I can sort of relate that to the past three and a half years of my life. Trauma after trauma and a huge mess in between.
Trauma: emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may lead to long-term neurosis.
In 2014, I left a city I had come to recognize as my happy place. I packed up what little I had and went back home. I had fought the good fight and after a while, the time came for me to leave and so I did. Trauma 1. In 2015 I moved from home to a city I never in my wildest dreams thought I would live in. And in that city, I learnt how to be alone, not because I wanted to…I didn’t have much of a choice really. Trauma 2. 2016 came with a horrible relationship that I basically destroyed myself for just so we could be. Trauma 3. In 2017, an opportunity to go back to my happy place presented itself so beautifully and in the blink of an eye, that opportunity was taken away from me. I didn’t lose it; it was snatched out of my hands. Trauma 4.
While all of this was going on, life around me had to continue. I had to get new friends and watch them drift off. I had to find a church to learn that rejection sucks but it is definitely not worth the attention we place on it. I had to middle man the heck out of arguments because at some point I learnt that we are our parent’s keepers. I had to be an adult and take the trash out even on days when nothing in me wanted to leave my bed… The mess in between.
In normal situations, after a traumatic experience, your brain systems shift from reactive to responsive but sometimes, the shift doesn’t happen. Sometimes it just takes longer than normal. And in those times, your life as you know it, can be hijacked by changes you are not responsible for.
I’ve recently had to take stock of my life and in that process, I noticed a lot of changes that I could not account for. I cry a lot. I’m crying as I write this. I’ve always been a cryer but not this much. I sleep a lot too. And I eat. And I’m closed off. I cannot open up to anyone. Then it hit me. I’m not a normal situation. My brain didn’t shift systems. And now I have moments of not being ok.
I never thought I would say this, but I’m grateful for everything I’ve been going through, I really am. I have grown and I have learnt an insane amount. Right now, I’m learning that faith is hard. It’s hard and I wish people would stop sugar coating Christianity. Faith is hard. Believing that your mess will one day be cleaned up is not easy. Praying for a mess that has absolutely nothing to do with you but somehow you’re in it is not easy. But here I am, faithing it every day.
There’s nothing wrong with not being ok.
One of my favourite scriptures right now is Hebrews 4:15-16 (MSG) and it reads as follows,
We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Jesus knows that sometimes we’ll be tempted. He knows that sometimes life will sucker punch us repeatedly. But you can’t let that be the death of you. At some point, you must get up and move. It doesn’t matter what your getting up looks like, just do it. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t. Most of the time, we need more help than what we think. Reach out to God. Pour your heart out to Him. Reach out to your church family. Surround yourself with people that will stand for you when you cannot stand for yourself.
If you need to see a therapist, do it. If you need to be on some medication, get on with it. Or if you just need a holiday, pack your stuff and go. There’s a better you waiting at the end of every traumatic experience. There’s a wiser you waiting at the end of your neurosis. Don’t make the better you wait longer than it should. Take the mercy, accept the help.