It's Okay to Not be Okay, But Don't Stay There

Kaiden Jackson


It's okay to not be okay, but don't stay there too long.

I wanted to open with this saying because a lot of people feel this way but are unsure how to get themselves out. I was one of those people. For years, I have struggled with anxiety and depression and feeling like I was stuck. I did not open up to people around me, I relied on outside sources for happiness, and I put on a damn good front for everyone around me. I attempted to fake my way into thinking I was fine through lazy self care routines that I would only do when I was having a really hard time or journaling for a few minutes and never journaling again until I reached another downfall. I was trying to help myself but deep down I wanted someone else to do it for me, I wanted someone to fix me. It took a lot of trial and error for me to realize this or to even understand it but reality is if anyone is going to come into your life and make it better, that person is going to be you. Once I discovered this, I started figuring out how I was going to show up for myself every day.

I had those tough conversations with people who truly care about my overall well-being such as family and close friends. It was very hard and uncomfortable at first, but I do not regret it one bit. Once I finally opened up the resources started piling in. My parents assisted me in finding a therapist and from there, I started taking initiative in prioritizing my mental and physical health. I began searching for more resources such as books and journals, I found comfort in reading and expressing my thoughts. After practicing this for a while, I took another look at myself, and really started thinking about who I want to be and how I am going to get there.

One of the books that I have read that has helped me discover how to do this is The Gift of Imperfections by Brene Brown. She discusses a lot about authenticity and vulnerability throughout her book. One of the quotes that resonates with me is “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are” (Brown, 2010). In today’s generation, it is so easy to get wrapped up in social media, worrying about if a post is good enough, how many likes it has, and how many followers we have. Everyone wants to post the highs but no one wants to talk about the lows. I have fallen victim to this many times before, and I am sure we all have.

It's hard admitting when things are not going amazing in our lives but it's not something we should feel the need to hide or feel embarrassed about. This is when I decided that I was going to work on creating the most authentic version of myself, exposing the good, the bad, and embracing it. That leads me into another thing that I have learned throughout this journey and that is to “embrace the suck”. Now whenever I am feeling down about myself, I let myself feel it but then I move forward, I no longer get “stuck” in that low place. It takes consistency and practice, you need to train yourself to move forward whenever you are faced with adversity. By doing this, you are prioritizing your emotional well-being but you are also showing others that it is okay not to be okay. That's the message I want to get across to not only myself but to other people through my journey, I want to inspire others to share their experiences and make a difference. With all being said, stay true to yourself, your goals, and aspirations and you will be phenomenal.

Comments (2)

  • Michael on Dec 22, 2021

    Thanks for sharing your personal experience. I think a lot of people, including myself, can relate to your story. I’ll def have to check out that book you mentioned 🙏🏾

  • Zach Gale on Dec 21, 2021

    Amazing insight, Kaiden! From someone who has also dealt with anxiety, I can relate more than you know. My fiancé actually read this book and loved it. When we acknowledge our own struggles and our own successes, then we are able to use that growth to serve others. Thank you!

Leave a comment