I’m not going to tell you it will be okay

I’m not going to tell you it will be okay.

Not because I don’t think it will be (in fact, in the end, I know it will be okay for you and me). I’m not going to tell you it will be okay because telling you it will be okay when you’re the furthest thing from okay, isn’t helpful to where you are standing right now. If anything, it’s infuriating because everything in your body is screaming not-okayness.

‘It’s going to be okay.’ That’s the thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words to say and we don’t know how to climb into the shit with someone and hold their hand while they scream and cry and rage it out.

It’ll be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out. 

These are real and true statements that universally apply to you and me, no matter where we stand in our lives. And while I have enough trust and faith that whatever you and I are walking through in this moment, that we’re going to come out on the other side braver, wiser and stronger – in the moments we’re navigating the tough stuff, the words, It will be okay doesn’t cut it or make us feel better.

We can all recall times when something “not working out” ended up “working out” and turning out better than we could have ever imagined. We’ve all been through fire moments, the ones we swore would consume us whole. We’ve all learned the gift of not getting what we wanted and how that opened the door to something way better. We’ve understood through the hard moments that things will eventually be okay. But, when it’s not okay now, sometimes all we can see and hear is the not-okayness. Sometimes that’s all we can register in our weary hearts and bodies.

It’s not okay someone you love is no longer alive. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you. It’s not okay that someone shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without sobbing on your bathroom floor. It’s not okay you’re swimming in not-enoughness or failure or guilt or shame like you’ve never known.

Whatever it is for you, my friend, it’s not okay…and that, my friend, is more than okay.

I’m not going to tell you it will be okay. Or that everything will work out. I’m not going to tell you to buck up or that others have it worse than you and so you should be grateful.

Instead, I’m going to tell you that I see your pain. That I understand how much it sucks right now. How some days it takes everything you have just to get through your day.

I see you. I feel you. I know…I get it. I really do.

I’ve been silent these last few weeks, quietly closing myself off to the world, trying to close myself off to my own pain. I’ve been internalizing the tough stuff – the broken dreams, the unsure future, my shattered heart and my identify – all the not-okayness. Somedays I feel like I can come up for air and it will all be okay. Other days the not-okayness is suffocating. It comes and goes in waves and sometimes without warning.

I know what it’s like to let the waves pull you down. And I know what it’s like to ride them and be in the shitstorm of it all. I know what it’s like to throw your hands up in frustration and what it really means to surrender sobbing on the bathroom floor.

Sitting with your pain isn’t pretty. It’s yucky and messy and sad – all the things we’ve decided there’s no place for in our lives.

And so, we tell ourselves (and each other) that it will be okay.

Most of us haven’t learned how to climb in our shit and sit with our pain and be okay with not being okay. We haven’t explored how to climb into the shit with someone and hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.

I see you. I feel you. And I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.

And so, I won’t tell you it will be okay.

Instead, I’ll remind you of your strength in this moment – that whether or not you can see it right now, you truly are powerful beyond measure. You have a purpose and contribution for this world that only you can do in the way that you do.

I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each day, but you’re doing it. It might not be at the pace or rate you want it, but you’re doing it – and that’s the kind of strength that carries you from one moment to the next.

I won’t tell you it will be okay.

Instead, I’ll tell you that trust and faith go a long way.

Neither are easy. Not one bit. Sometimes though, that’s all we have when nothing is okay and everything seems like it’s falling apart. Trust and faith are what we have to make it through to what’s next – it’s what has carried me through some seriously dark life chapters.

Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me. Chapters filled with addiction and disordered eating. Chapters that ripped loved ones from my life in the most tragic and abrupt ways. Chapters that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. And somewhere along the line, in between the dark places where it was hard to breathe, I found trust and faith. Though it’s hard to grasp sometimes, it’s something I’ve never let go of, regardless of the chaos around me.

Sometimes trust and faith is all we have – and it goes a long way when everything feels impossible.

I won’t tell you it will be okay.

Instead, I’ll remind you that you aren’t alone. Ever. In whatever you’re navigating.

We all have our own shitstorms. But we don’t all embrace the courage to walk through them.

You aren’t alone.

I know it feels like that sometimes, like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much pain and loss and struggle.

But you’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that pulled me out of the depths of sadness, it was being reminded that I wasn’t alone and that I didn’t have to walk alone through it all.

I won’t tell you it will be okay.

Instead, I’ll tell you that I love you.

Because I do. Because you’re here on this planet. Because you’re here reading this. And you’ve got a story filled with beautiful scars too. And that story – everything that has brought you to your knees and that has brought you here – is what makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.