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Health and Wellness

It's OK To Not Be OK

Some positive thoughts to people who are struggling.

It's OK To Not Be OK
Jessica Tenenbaum

If I could pass on one piece of advice to the world, it would be that sometimes it's okay to be not okay. Sometimes being stressed or anxious or mad or upset is alright. And I promise you'll get through it. For me, hearing these words helped me through what seemed like some of the hardest moments in my life. I have what I describe as transitional anxiety. In other words, any form of change stresses me out. I'll do almost anything—and I am not really exaggerating, just about anything—to get out of a situation that I don't want to be in.

Like this one time I may or may not have jumped off a ride at Universal Studios after it started moving because I thought it was going to be a rollercoaster and that was not what I signed up for. But more seriously, transitional anxiety for me is about built-up anticipation of diving into the unknown.

I love my routines, and I thrive off being prepared. So, things like change and the unknown scare me more than anything and can make even the simplest of things seem like a nightmare. Like camp.

For a good portion of my life, I've been a camper and now counselor at an overnight camp. This is my happy place, my favorite place on Earth. Some of my best memories and friends come from camp. Despite this, every year, but starting a couple of nights before I leave for camp, all of a sudden, I can't eat, I can't sleep, talk of anything camp related makes me sick, and I have frequent panic attacks where I'm crying and begging my parents to let me stay home. Like most episodes of anxiety, I am fully aware of how ridiculous I'm being, and how I during the year I would give anything to be at camp, or how the second I step foot into camp I almost immediately feel at home. Regardless, there is something about the idea of change that makes my skin crawl.

After a couple of years of going through the same thing, I was getting frustrated with myself, I just didn't understand. It didn't make sense that I would become so set on not going to the place I love, and during some of my fits of anxiety, I felt it turn more to anger then stress. Until one day I was listening to a song and the lyrics said, "I believe that today it's ok to be not ok."

For whatever reason, these 10 words really resonated with me, and I felt it was giving me permission to be sad, it was giving me permission to experience all the irrational emotions I was feeling and be okay with it. It made what I felt as embarrassing kind of make sense at least to me. No one else had to understand it, but the important thing is that I did.

Having anxiety is never something to be embarrassed about, and a lot of times it might not make sense, but from this moment forward give yourself permission to cut yourself some slack, because it's okay to be not okay.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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