In reality, not being okay is a deep-rooted issue that needs professional guidance and proper counselling. Pep talks by the loved ones provide a momentary relaxation and this, I feel, aggravates the issues by manifolds making us weaker and disturbed.
"It’s okay to be not okay" is what we are told by 8 out of 10 people when we share our anxieties with them or make an honest confession of being internally disturbed.
But, is not being okay so simple?
"I understand what you are going through. I went through a similar phase, and it was even worse than yours. So, it’s okay to be not okay," haven’t we heard such statements as well?
My problems are different from yours, and yours are different from mine, so how can you understand what I am going through? How can you say that yours is the worst or mine is the worst?
Here, I am not talking about mental health issues triggered by severe physical abuse. Here, I am trying to speak about mental health issues triggered by some emotional fallout or breakdown.
Trivialising and seeing things through a common sieve is probably the easiest thing in the world. We speak out to our friends and dear ones only because they assure us that they will listen if we ever have emotional issues. However, after a point, the listener tends to take it "casually."
However, here I would be wrong if I said that the ones we speak to don’t understand our problems at all. They do. Perhaps at some point they fail and trivialise it and start comparing it with the issues they are having (we all have issues, don’t we?). And at this point, when comparison comes in, perhaps they think "if I am surviving, why can’t he?"
Secondly, perhaps we are not ready to hear something that challenges our comfort zones. Maybe that’s why they end up saying it is okay to be not okay, as they say so might calm us down.
Perhaps they are right in their terms, but as an individual, how can I be okay if I am not okay?
How can it be okay if I cry in solitude? How can it be okay if I think of ending my life? How can it be okay if I repeatedly curse myself for the things I could not achieve, which I might have achieved? How can it be okay when I fail to make my dear ones happy and bring a smile to their faces? No, that can’t be okay at all.
One might say that I am sounding way too negative and that I am a pessimist, so how can it be okay when pessimism has embraced me tightly and I am unable to free myself from its clutches?
Broadly speaking, from what I have observed, for the majority of us, it is easy to say that it is okay to be not okay, but in reality, not being okay is a deep-rooted issue that needs professional guidance and proper counselling.
Pep talks by the loved ones provide a momentary relaxation and this, I feel, aggravates the issues by manifolds, making us weaker and more disturbed.
To lie to our hearts by saying ‘it’s okay to be not okay’ will only push us to the darkness of oblivion.
No, it’s not okay to be not okay!
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.