5 January 2020 posted by Kelly Brown

Yesterday I met with my mentor, Amanda Blessing and we talked a little about the tragic passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Later in the day I learned that someone very special was not okay. It reminded me of a beautiful little story that I stumbled upon on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or somewhere else I where was electrically procrastinating.

I am one of those people who seem okay all the time. In fact, I work very hard at ‘Acting The Way I Want to Feel’ (‘The Happiness Project’, Gretchen Rubin ). I also appear to ‘have it all’. I have my own business, a loving husband, 2 delightful children, a big home, great friends, an MBA, and lots of shiny happy photographs on Facebook and Instagram.

However, I don’t always feel like that –

–         Sometimes I want to stay in bed all day and not face the world

–         Some days I feel worthless, hopeless, and miserable.

These days are very rare, but I certainly have them.

I get back on track by consciously acting the way I want to feel. As a result, I almost always end up feeling happy, or certainly better than I did before.

The danger with this is that others may compare themselves to us folk who are good at acting happy. This may create unrealistic comparisons and make other people feel even worse.

We all have good days and bad days. Some have them worse than others. I do hope if you have those days when you don’t feel Very Okay At All, that you pick up the phone and talk to someone.

I hope this little story resonates with you as much as it did with me:

 “Piglet?” said Pooh.

“Yes Pooh?” said Piglet.

“Do you ever have days when everything feels… Not Very Okay At All? And sometimes you don’t even know why you feel Not Very Okay At All, you just know that you do.”

Piglet nodded his head sagely. “Oh yes,” said Piglet. “I definitely have those days.”

“Really?” said Pooh in surprise. “I would never have thought that. You always seem so happy and like you have got everything in life all sorted out.”

“Ah,” said Piglet. “Well here’s the thing. There are two things that you need to know, Pooh. The first thing is that even those pigs, and bears, and people, who seem to have got everything in life all sorted out… they probably haven’t. Actually, everyone has days when they feel Not Very Okay At All. Some people are just better at hiding it than others.

“And the second thing you need to know… is that it’s okay to feel Not Very Okay At All. It can be quite normal, in fact. And all you need to do, on those days when you feel Not Very Okay At All, is come and find me, and tell me. Don’t ever feel like you have to hide the fact you’re feeling Not Very Okay At All. Always come and tell me. Because I will always be there.”

In summary

We don’t like to let the mask drop, talk about these feelings or share our vulnerabilities. I hope that by sharing my journey, it may help someone who isn’t sure if it’s okay to feel Not Very Okay At All.

One of our employees, who is now a valued client, Conor Duffy, has also wrote a very personal open letter to people working in the industry, that I would highly recommend reading.

Take a look at our SafeMinds Mental Health Training.

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/