The last couple of weeks have been awful. Exam stress and my over thinking mind combined to make a minefield of angry bombs exploding doubts and fear in my face no matter how precariously I stepped to avoid their trap. I spent so much time feeling horrible and people were beginning to notice, some even commenting on it, asking me to cheer up. But it was only this morning I realised something very important. I was in a bad place, but that wasn’t a bad thing.
I realised I’m allowed to get sad once in a while. I can lock myself in my room, turn off the lights and turn up my music. I can spend hours listening to Radiohead and David Bowie and crying silently into a pillow. I can write down everything I feel, let every slice of pain, doubt and anger cutting at my mind splash onto the page before me. I can fall asleep or just lie there motionless, thinking of everything and nothing. I can stay in there all night without emerging, alone, slow steady chords rolling forlornly through my head. I can be sad if I want to. It’s normal. It’s human.
I can always be happy tomorrow. But if I’m not happy in the morning, that’s okay too. I can refuse to get dressed or put effort into my appearance. I can make myself food and go back to my room, passing half-heartedly mumbles to my parents as I pass. I can ignore text messages, Skype calls, human contact. I can refuse to see people I don’t want to see. I can shut myself off if I want to. It’s ordinary. It’s fine.
People seem to believe that sadness is a bad thing. That crying is weakness, and not being okay is definitely not okay. But let me tell you something- you don’t have to be happy today. You don’t have to be happy tomorrow. If you don’t want to be better today, you don’t have to be. You’re not weak because you’re sad and can’t face it anymore; you’re strong because you’ve carried pain this far. Everyone has a time when they’re down. You shouldn’t feel pressured to be alright just because everyone else wants you to be happy. You’re not a burden because you don’t feel your best.
You’re a person, and if you’re sad, you can be sad. Just know that even if you don’t want to be happy now, there will be a day when happiness will be a welcome friend. And on that day you can step out and take its hand and it will be just fine, I can promise you that. But until then you can cave into your sorrow if you want. To hurt is to be human. Happiness is patient; it will wait. That is the lesson I learnt this morning.
So no, today I am not okay, and tomorrow I may not be okay either. But guess what? That’s okay.