Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's ok to not be ok.

I spend a LOT of time trying to maintain a positive attitude. Usually, this is great: I've found that focusing on happy thoughts helps to keep anxiety at bay, and helps me to dwell on what I have rather than what I've lost or wish I had.

Lately, though, I've found that it's much harder to maintain my usual equilibrium. This year has brought some truly difficult times, which have made even the happiest moments bittersweet. While I haven't lost hope for improvements on one front, I'm still mourning for the days when my family was still more whole than it currently is, and still coming to terms with losing my grandma.

retrolicious rainbow tickets dress

My dad always says that I'm not really cut out for unhappiness, and while I still believe that he's right, at present it's a lot harder for me to find motivation to do things I ordinarily love. My default emotional state is just lower than usual, which is part of why my unintentional hiatus from blogging lasted so much longer than even I had expected.

In the past few weeks, the clouds have lifted a little bit. Instead of laying around in our living room staring into space, I've started doing some of the things I usually enjoy again: going to the gym, cooking, taking blog photos and posting OOTDs on Instagram, taking walks, and reading. Most days are alright.

But then there are so many days when I see something that I'd love to show my sister, or tell her about, and I'm utterly undone by the possibility that it'll never go back to the way it was. And there are days like today -- her birthday, in this case -- when I can't help but dwell on how much I miss her and how worried about her I still am. And there are times that I think about all the things my grandma just won't be here for, and wonder how I'll possibly feel whole in the face of her absence.

retrolicious rainbow tickets dress

And those days suck, if you'll pardon my vulgarity. They're the sort of days when I just want to hide from all of my responsibilities and basically everyone in the world, because it's just impossible to act like my regular self. And that hiding is sometimes exactly what I need, and that's ok.

If I'm usually a happy and upbeat person, that's because 1) that's been my default equilibrium and 2) that's my prerogative. But if I can't quite manage my normal cheer, or make it through my usual 'do all the things!' routine, the last thing I should be doing is beating myself up over it. Human beings can't help having feelings, and sadness, worry, fear, and anxiety are perfectly normal, perfectly natural emotions.

Working through difficult times and negative emotions isn't a matter of putting on a brave face and pretending everything is fine. It's a matter of acknowledging those feelings and learning to accept whatever is causing them. While I'm very far from accepting the way things are right now, I'm not going to punish myself for feeling distraught over the situation. How else am I supposed to feel?

And this is true no matter why you feel the way you feel. Your feelings are valid, you deserve the time to come to terms with them, and anyone who tells you otherwise is someone you should ignore. (This is a totally G-rated version of what I'm really thinking about those people, by the way.)

retrolicious rainbow dress
retrolicious tickets dress

How do you cope when you feel overwhelmed by negativity?

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  1. I love you so much and I love you for writing this. Sending all the hugs your way <3

  2. Oh man....#preach! It most certainly is okay to not be okay. My grandmother passed away almost two years ago, only three months after my uncle. And I still hurt. It's been about a year since my ex asked me for a divorce.....and I still hurt. I am a generally happy person - so it's hard to figure out how to deal with these emotions that are pretty much foreign to me. But I cry, I talk out loud to no one, I sing, I dance, I cry the shower. I do whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. But the next day is usually a better day. So I embrace that, knowing that the day after could be another bad one. You have to embrace your feelings and feel it all....that's what we are made of. Hold it together or don't....listen to your body and do what feels right.

    One day...we'll meet and I'm going to give you the biggest hug EVER. xoxox

  3. This post has articulated what I've been trying to communicate for a while; we are all human, meaning that we can be happy or angry, sad or on top of the world. There's a quote from Anne Frank's diary: 'On top of the world, or in the depths of despair.' Great post-I shall share it to all that I know x

  4. I love this post as it is so bloody real. Honestly, we all have days where we are really not ok and to battle through them and start doing things you love again is fab news. I hope things start looking up for you hun!!

    Sarah | xx

  5. I honestly teared up a bit reading this post! Thank you for writing it this sums up how I've been feeling for a while 💖🍵

  6. This post is very real and honest. I had to learn the hard way that you can't change your feelings and not matter why they are valid. Like you said, it's okay not to be ok. Xx

  7. I loved this post - it is so real and you are amazing. Thank you for being real and putting into words what a lot of people may find hard to say x

  8. I either curl up in bed with my cat and watch silly things on TV like the Kardashians or something equally not serious. Or I pour it all out to my mum or sister and hope that the emotional vomit (sorry lol) will make me feel better. But sometimes no amount of curling up or talking helps, and I just have to ride through it and hold on. Like you said, it's ok to be this way. Just got to be kind to yourself, if you can.
    As always, I LOVE your dress! :D

  9. Such a real and honest post!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  10. Emily
    We seem to be so much alike. I also come to terms with situations, and try to keep my happy face on. Sometimes for me. sometimes for others, but it helps me get through the hard times. Some people see that as I am not dealing with things, but I am just dealing with them on my own terms. I wish we lived closer so I could give you a hug.

  11. Loved this. This is so real! I have a pretty similar post on my blog from a while ago. Some of us, most of us don't feel perfect 24/7, and we shouldn't be ashamed of having down days.
    Jas xx

  12. This post is perfect! I'm definitely a time out type of person when it comes to coping. It's always best to try and make yourself top priority, and that can be hard sometimes.
    Sending hugs!
    Cora ❤

  13. This is such a heartrendingly honest post. You are going through so much, and yet you always look so cheerful in your photos - and so the acknowledgement that not being OK is perfectly OK is important both for you and for those of us who read and enjoy your posts. You have definitely caused me to think - thank you. Karen x

  14. Thank you for your very honest post! I completely agree with you that feelings are valid, and not to listen to those who may tell you that they are anything but.
    I am also by nature a positive and happy person (get it from my mother), but I am also very sensitive and emotional; I feel things VERY deeply. So, when it's happiness, it's amazing! But, when it's sadness/frustration, it's hard.
    Also, loving my former dress on you! :)

  15. Thank you for this post, Emily. You are such a wise soul! And you have gone through so much this year. It is completely OK to not be OK. This post was a good realization for me too. I'm generally a happy person, but sometimes life is not all sunshine and rainbows and you have to take time for yourself. I tend to bottle it all up and pretend everything is fabulous (which isn't healthy). Your post was very inspiring for me to read.

  16. This post feels so real, and I hope so much that it helped you writing it, and helps you still when you reread it now, and that you remember it when you feel down again. I wish you strength to always make it through to the other side!