It is okay to not be okay

I need help – these three little words rarely roll off my tongue. I am happy being vulnerable with my feelings, letting you know my inner thoughts but to ask for help is just not in my repertoire of things to say. Actually strike that, I will ask my three children to help but rarely venture out of this small circle.

This week, I needed help in various ways and was kindly offered it but graciously declined many times. Then I decided I am not setting a good example for my children. Shouldn’t they learn that asking for help is ok? I am always encouraging them to help others but do not demonstrate the reverse.

Many of us don’t like to ask for help. We may have been taught that it is a sign of weakness, so we cling to the notion, “I can do everything myself,” even if it’s not always the case.

So this week with some encouragement, I asked my parents for help and they enthusiastically even excitedly raced to my rescue.

I broke my foot, you see, and am unable to drive or do basic things.

Around the same time my 15 year old son who is a keen cricket player was practicing bowling down our back yard and smashed a window. I was laying in my bed upstairs with my injured foot when I heard the crash, I closed my eyes and carefully said “what was that?”

That night my son cooked a barbecue and the gas ran out during cooking and I think at the same time I ran out of strength. It doesn’t sound big but it was all I could handle.

I usually write about how I overcame an obstacle and grew stronger but right now I am just lingering in the feeling of hopelessness. I assure you I will bounce back, but for now I have had enough. When my foot heals, I will learn to appreciate how wonderful it is to walk on two magnificent feet, I will learn to enjoy this time of rest and solitude, I will definitely dance but for now I am laying in my bed with my leg up with tears in my eyes thinking “enough”.

I accept that I don’t always need to be strong and sometimes I can be vulnerable, fall apart, expose my tiredness, feel scared and weak. I think there is a fallacy that we need to be happy and strong all of the time. I want nothing more than for happiness to be my constant state of being and have a hard time forgiving myself when I falter. But I am trying to accept that sometimes I feel discouraged and physically, mentally, and emotionally “burnt out” and just not myself.

My son rang my brother-in-law for help and he brilliantly came to our rescue with the broken window, a wonderful friend drove me to the hospital, my Dad filled the gas bottle, a magnificent bunch of flowers arrived from my sister and brother-in-law, my parents washed the sheets, did washing, left dinner in the fridge and just took care of me and I am finally and gradually finding my sense of gratitude slowly coming back. Even though this help is amazing it is me and only me who is responsible for accepting my feelings of hopelessness. And sometimes I don’t need physical help I just need to express how I feel and just be heard.

I am so adamant about being a grateful and happy person and believe that shining brightly is better than the dark. But sometimes I need to accept the dark. I am learning it is ok to let the world know that I can not ‘do it all‘ and that I am not some unrealistic ‘tower of strength‘. I am human. I have my bag of tips and tricks to get me through these moments but sometimes I just need to be brave enough to accept that ‘I am having a bad day‘.

I have so much to be grateful for but sometimes – I am just a girl standing here saying ‘life is a little challenging at the moment‘.




9 Replies to “It is okay to not be okay”

  1. Well said Mel and I personally think putting your hand up for help some times is a strength in itself. People like yourself who are always so giving and grateful find it hard to receive as you are more likely to be always giving but there needs to be a balance and the only way for balance to occur is to allow your amazing support around you the chance to help as I am sure they are just waiting for the green light – It really is a WIN/WIN for all in the end!! Thinking of you always! Binny

  2. Melissa our thoughts and love are with you That’s what family and friends are for Love to you all 💐💐💐💐💞💞💞💞

  3. Really great read Mel and you say what I’m sure many of us feel. Luv the way you can express your feelings. Take care Rob

  4. Good on you Mel and I’m sure your family loves to support you and the kids. You write beautifully.

    Warm Regards Janita

    Janita Connolly Year 4 Teacher

    Our Lady of the Angels’ School Warraba Ave Wavell Heights 3359 9198

    From: Multiple Strengths <> Reply-To: Multiple Strengths <> Date: Saturday, 30 April 2016 6:52 pm To: Janita Connolly <> Subject: {SPAM?} [New post] It is ok to not be ok

    Melissa posted: “I need help – these three little words rarely roll off my tongue. I am happy being vulnerable with my feelings, letting you know my inner thoughts but to ask for help is just not in my repertoire of things to say. Actually strike that, I will ask my three”

  5. Melissa, your thoughts and expressions are an inspiration to everyone who reads them my dear. We are sorry to hear about your foot, but that shows just how strong you are – not even realising that you had a broken bone! I have broken my ankle on both feet at different times and walked on them for some time before realising that the pain was not going to go away. Wish we lived closer so that we could be on call to help you. We are only a phone call away and could easily drive up!

    Keep smiling beautiful lady.

    Barb and Peter xx

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