It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Theresa Polley
January 13, 2022
January 26, 2022
Self Care

I know plenty of us thought things would be back to normal by now. Or we'd be embracing a new normal with a big sigh of relief. Yet here we are, still in that in between time. The waiting is always the hardest part.

Some people are partying like it's 1999 and some are still being cautious. Either way - you do you!

There is no sense of normalcy yet and many of us are still struggling. We're not okay and there’s no need to pretend that we are. Pretending to be something we aren’t takes a tremendous amount of energy. And I don't know about you, but I don't have any extra energy right now.

If you’ve experienced a devastating loss of a loved one or a job; grief and a profound sense of loss may be hard to shake. Even a series of smaller losses can have devastating effects.

Oftentimes our culture and society doesn’t offer us room to grieve. There is a sense of urgency to get over it already. We may believe we need to get over grief and move on. I believe that healing only comes when we allow ourselves to fully grieve. There are no time limits with grief or a right way or wrong way to grieve.

Activities that are part of our everyday routine give us a sense of purpose and control over our lives. Losing those routines may bring on depression, anxiety or both. Since we may not have the same physical connection with loved ones and friends, the effects of losing control over our lives is doubled.

Allow yourself time and space to not be okay.
Give Yourself Grace
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Let go of "shoulds" - don't let anyone tell you (and stop telling yourself) that you should do this or that.
  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Allow yourself to grieve all the things - from the small to the overwhelming.
  • Let go of trying to do things the right way or the perfect way.
  • Know you're doing the best you can.
  • Let go of other's opinions and judgements.
  • Let go of your expectations and judgements.

I was able to make peace (after years of struggle) with not being okay. Last year I suffered several losses. I felt like I'd lost so much in my life and I wasn't going to ever be okay. Even though I know deep down everything (good or bad) is temporary. In order to protect my peace, I had to accept everything is not okay, and I chose to be okay with not being okay. It's a choice I make every morning.

One of my favorite books, “The Wild Edge of Sorrow” by Frances Weller, illustrates how other cultures and societies handle grief, some even honoring grief as a community. Weller explains the five levels of grief, as well as the different kinds of grief. Reading this book allowed me to not only make peace with my losses, but to move on to a place where I accepted grief as part of the journey of living.

If you’re less of a reader and more of a listener, Brene Brown’s interviews David Kessler on her Unlocking Us Podcast. Kessler, who continues the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, takes the processes of grief one step further - to the stage of finding meaning in grief.

If you're not ready to explore your grief in all of it's glory, know that there is no right or wrong way. Allow yourself the time and the space to not be okay - whatever that looks like and as often as you need to. Make caring for yourself a priority. You deserve it.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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