I know that I said Reddit’s on its way out – but today I ran into something on Reddit that reminded me of an important truth: It’s okay to not be okay. “What’s a subtle sign that someone isn’t ok deep down?” was created yesterday and I related to so many of these signs that it’s positively scary. Actually, I was surprised that ‘You suddenly get all of Taylor Tomlinson’s jokes’ wasn’t one of them, but that’s a different story for a different time.
What are some signs that somebody isn’t okay? Let’s break them down in no particular order. This list may be of service to you, which is why I’m including it here.
- When someone starts reaching out to people they haven’t spoken to for a long time. – ASemiAquaticBird
- Unexplained or unwarranted anger, you drop a tiny rock in the ocean and you get a tsunami reaction – usually a sign of deep distress. – ZillianGator
- When they have lost their fight and just tolerate things that are wrong because they have given up. – istareatscreens
- When they get emotional over simple kindness. – warpugs
- Looks tired, forced smile, flinches subtle and doesn’t seem happy when you talk of things you know they love – Caladan109
- Always check on the ones who check on you. They’re probably the ones who understand most what it’s like to be forgotten and are following the Golden Rule. – Emis816
- Poor hygiene. Nobody likes being unhygienic. Most people are depressed at their smelliest. – happyhippie95
- If someone quietly, calmly and emotionlessly tells you that you need to stop, leave, etc — like they are dead inside — there is a good chance they are about to snap – RecognitionLucky6697
- When they actively avoid seeing themselves. Either in a mirror, a reflection of some kind, pictures, etc. – RynoLasVegas
- When they don’t ask for favors or help. Ever. – Lack of trust. No trust falls, no matter the person. – They don’t like it when people get them something, or they don’t like being the center of attention. – Their heart may be racing, but their face stays calm. – When they’re not disappointed when something bad happens. They accept it and keep moving. – equivalent_answer561
- Anger is symptom of deep depression. It’s what some depressed people use to get out of bed in the morning, since it creates energy. Ask me how I know. – Pudacat
- A smile that doesn’t make it to their eyes. From the nose down, looks happy. From the nose up, it’s like looking at a doll. – Radiant_Boss4342
- Although it’s obviously not always the only indicator, but people pleasers often have a default to put themselves second. These are the people I worry about – crannnnnnny
- They overshare traumatic events like it’s not a big deal – hotre_editor
- Over explaining themselves for no reason = trauma response – HealthyVegan12331
Okay, stop – take a breath. This blog post may come as a surprise or an uncomfortable realization – for that, I apologize in advance. Especially to my younger readers. Everyone can get overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or discouraged. Sometimes life – even for adults – is hard and scary. Just like it’s hard and scary to be a kid, sometimes. I’m writing all of this down for you as well as for me.
I’m writing this all down because it’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or discouraged. If you found yourself relating to this list extra hard, please take a moment to listen. I’m sorry for your struggle and I empathize with your paint. My hope is that you get some better days, times, feelings soon. As a friendly reminder, the US mental health hotline number is 866-903-3787, or you can call 988 from any phone in the United States. There’s a worldwide list of mental health resources on this page here.
If it helps, think of the last time you smelled a fart. Gross, right? The good news is, farts go away. Open a window, take a walk, take some simple steps to get away from the funk. Even if you can’t get away from a fart – you know they don’t last. Life would suck if farts stuck with you forever, but they don’t. Neither do bad feelings – think of them as ’emotional farts.’ Everyone farts – and farts don’t last forever.
Here’s the Thing
Sometimes the hard and scary stuff doesn’t go away and you have to find different reasons to not give up. For example, your reason to not give up can be something beautiful – a warm sunny day, cute animals, beautiful stars at night. Other times, your reason to not give up can be mean and ugly. You can literally decide to keep going just because it annoys people. Let me let you in on a little secret: both reasons are perfectly fine. It’s totally fine to keep going, not give up on life and yourself, because you’re too angry to give up. Anger is a survival mechanism – feel free to make use of it.
Why am I talking about this? Why not keep all this with the therapist? I’ve thought a lot about the value of keeping silent versus talking about it and basically – the answer comes down to this. If you wanna get better at anything – you have to practice. Wanna play guitar? Practice. Get better at juggling? Practice. Writing stories? Practice. Even doctors practice medicine – they have to practice to get better. How are we supposed to get better at mental health if I we don’t practice getting better?
I was in a pretty bad place this morning and with some mediation (and this blog post) – I’m doing better. Thank you for listening, and I hope this post helps you as much as it has helped me. It’s okay to not be okay. Think of your bad days as ’emotional farts.’ We still love you, even if you fart. Everyone farts – and farts don’t last forever.