You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “it’s OK not to be OK.”
It’s so popular, it’s in mental health campaigns, hashtags, and even pop songs.
I live with depression myself, and this phrase helps on the bad days.
It’s OK not to be OK because sometimes the world is too much for us. Then, it’s understandable that sometimes we just can’t get up in the morning, and we certainly can’t face dressing ourselves. When we say ‘it’s OK not to be OK’, we’re saying this is nothing to be ashamed of. And reducing this shame is vital if we’re to encourage people to ask for help when they need it.
So this phrase is important. But it has a caveat. And it’s this:
It’s not OK that so many of us are not OK, so much of the time.
It’s not OK that we’ve been told to grow and grow the economy by being ever more productive, that people are burning out, that suicide and depression is increasing, and we’re told, “hey – we need to grow it some more”.
It’s not OK that workers’ rights are being steadily eroded in the name of creating a more competitive economy.
It’s not OK that politicians think it’s more important to ‘keep the country moving’ than to save the lives of tens of thousands of people.
It’s not OK that the world’s 26 richest people own as much as the poorest 50% of the planet.
It’s not OK that the phrase “It’s OK not to be OK” has become so popular because so many people are having such a shit time.
None of this is OK.
On the days where I actually am OK, I’m done with pretending everything is OK.
I’m done with playing ball and being nice and reading about mass death and poverty and how the world’s richest man is about to become a trillionaire and scrolling down only to be given top tips for baking the best banana bread during quarantine.
Because do you know what actually is OK?
To be angry.