Am I Really Okay?

Photo by    Martha Ignacio

“Are you okay?

A question we’ve all been asked often enough.

A question that triggers an instant lie.

A question so ambiguous.

“Yeah, I’m good.”

Every night I lie awake, feeding my truth-seeking obsession. Wondering what the real answer to that question could be. After countless sleepless nights, I finally face myself in the mirror. I take a good long look, try to look at myself as someone else. And I ask myself, what do you see?

There’s a strength and a softness in her. Stare into her soft, piercing eyes long enough, and you’ll find the depths of her soul. You feel that these eyes have cried many tears, but her strong gaze makes you think otherwise. Even with a tough exterior, you sense a brokenness within her. You see her scars and wonder about the stories behind them. You see her mouth closed shut, clearly holding her tongue. You’re curious to know what her mind has to say.

In a moment of self-evaluation, I’m left to wonder how others perceive people. I wonder why my friends speculate that I am not okay, thinking that I am pretending. But what if we all have different definitions of okay? Maybe there are different facets to this concept of okay, nothing but an area of grey. 

It’s an odd feeling, this state I’m in.

I’m hurting a lot. I sometimes question all of it again. Thoughts of suicide sometimes flirt. Heartbreaks come to haunt in the darkest of sleepless nights. There’s a sense of impatience in anticipation for the day I heal. There’s a voice inside my head constantly doubting every overthinking thought. I seek refuge the only way I know how. It’s constant fear of falling into a black hole again. It’s waiting out the hours to survive another day. But having no one to tell.

And yet – I’m still holding onto that little spark that could light an entire forest. Because everyday, no matter how bad I could think I feel, I still survive. I am still here. And even on the worst days, I have a list of things to be thankful for. Even if it’s as simple as a beautiful sunset. I am working hard to build my empire. I’m deepening my awareness and learning to grow myself. I’m constantly trying to get to know myself better, learning to love the person I’m becoming. Everyday I still try to find some good lessons to learn from. Each day, I still choose myself.

I am both. It’s in the brokenness I feel that I am learning to heal. With the hurt, fears, and traumas, I’m learning to move on and grow. I’ve come to find that, it was never controlling your emotions or letting it control you. It’s letting two conflicting thoughts come to harmony. It’s finding a balance by letting them flow through you.  

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s called being human. It’s having a soul. A state of frustration is an opportunity for healing. And in doing so, you have the possibility of healing those around you.

Now wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing to accomplish in this lifetime?

Words by Martha Ignacio

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