When You’re Not As Okay As You Say You Are
I keep saying I’m okay, but honestly, I’m starting to question that.
I wrote this to a friend a few weeks ago in an email. I thought I was okay. It was my standard answer when someone asked how I was doing. But privately, I was starting to wonder.
I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was forgetting things that I wouldn’t normally forget. I was irritable, on edge, and about to cry at any moment. But… I thought I was doing okay. Until I wasn’t.
Maybe you know the feeling when so much is piled up and if one more thing gets added to the pile—just one. more. little. thing.—you will break.
I had reached my breaking point.
I finally realized it and admitted it. And it felt good. It didn’t ease the pain of losing a loved one or make current situations simple, but the I’m-okay-mask didn’t feel quite so suffocating.
I felt like I had to share this revelation and maybe some hope for someone else coming to the same conclusion about herself.
I posted this to a few of my Facebook friends…
“Your breaking point just might be the moment you realize and admit that you’re actually not as okay as you keep telling people you are. But God is bigger than our breaking points!!”
What breaks us does not break God. He’s bigger than the weight we’re carrying and the masks we’re trying to wear.What breaks us does not break God. He’s bigger than the weight we’re carrying and the masks we’re trying to wear. Click To Tweet
5 Steps To Take When You Realize You Are At Your Breaking Point
What can we do when we realize we’re not as okay as we keep saying we are?
1) Admit It
You don’t have to call everyone you know or post it on social media, but admit it to yourself and to someone close to you. Once we admit it to ourselves, it helps us see where we truly are and allows us to stop pretending. Admitting it to someone else feels freeing. It’s not easy, but it does shine light into the darkness.
2) Stay Close To God
This seems obvious, but when we’re in function-without-falling-apart mode it’s easy to slip into trying to do everything ourselves. It’s like having blinders on and not realizing we’ve wandered away from God’s side.
When I shared my breaking point with my Facebook friends, I also said this…
God doesn’t mind when we invade His personal space because we’re clinging to Him with everything we have. He just keeps drawing us even closer.
God is not scared off by our breaking points. How we’re doing, what we’re dealing with, and the masks we’re trying to wear—these are not news to Him. He already knows, which makes talking to Him even easier. We don’t have to explain the situation or justify why we’re struggling. We can just talk to Him and sit in His presence.
3) Take Care Of Yourself
Stress does a number on our physical, emotional, and mental health. It might drive us to bad eating habits and keep us from getting the sleep we need. It keeps our thoughts circling around the issues, blinding us to everything else. It takes its toll on us.
Maybe it’s not the time to start a gym membership or a new eating plan, but every day we can try to do something to take care of ourselves. Read a book to give your mind something else to think about. Take a walk to get out of the house. Choose to drink water instead of that can of soda so there are fewer calories to worry about later. Find one good thing in the day, even if it’s something like dinner didn’t burn or your pants didn’t feel as snug as you remember. (Yes, I’ve counted these.) It doesn’t change a situation, but it does change our focus and our habit of only recognizing the bad things throughout the day.
These are little suggestions, but every little thing counts. And if today doesn’t go well, tomorrow is a new beginning.
4) Know Who To Listen To
Satan knows when we’re struggling under the weight of life and he will take advantage of us in any way he can. Maybe you recognize some of his lies.
You’re the only one who feels this way.
Everyone else can manage, why can’t you?
Keep the mask on. Don’t let anyone else know you’re not okay.
Don’t bother others. You need to do this on your own.
He whispers his lies softly so we don’t realize what he’s doing and he screams them so loud we can’t hear anything else. But when we know to expect the enemy we’re better at recognizing his lies.
God speaks Truth and He knows how to get our attention. But we have to be listening and looking for Him.
His Truth says,
You are not the only one going through this.
You are not alone. I will never leave you or forsake you.
You don’t have to do this alone.
I will lift you up and strengthen you.
God’s Truth will always crush the enemy’s lies. Always.
5) Know When To Ask For Help
Sometimes it’s not just a rough season or the blues, but something more. Asking for professional help does not mean your faith in God is weak. It means you’re strong enough to realize that something is not right and it is time to reach out for help.
It’s okay to not be okay. When we trust and rely on God and His mighty power, He can lift us up out of despair and give us the strength to keep going. One step at a time. One day at a time.
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Have you experienced a time when you thought you were okay until you realized you weren’t? How did you feel after that realization?It's okay not to be okay… Click To Tweet
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Yes, “God’s truth will always crush the enemy’s lies”. SO TRUE! I go up and down on waves of feeling truly okay some days to nearly losing it on others. I am getting better and going to Jesus for comfort, peace, and WISDOM at the moment. I’m sorry you’ve lost a loved one. I’m sure it is so hard but thank God for His faithfulness.
Comfort, peace, and yes, wisdom! So often I’m asking for His guidance. Thank you Nicole. And God bless!
I especially appreciated these reminders:
“God is bigger than our breaking points.” And “God is not scared off by our breaking points.” He is still God, waiting for us to turn our eyes on Him, and stop trying so hard to look okay. Learning all this myself.
Well-written. Tha ks for sharing.
Thank you Susan. ♥
This is such good advice. Yes to being honest and realizing we can be not okay. Great tips. Admitting that we are not okay does not solve our problem, but it is the first step to walking towards solving that problem.
I agree Theresa. We can spend less energy trying to pretend we’re okay and more energy where we really need it.
Great post Laura!
Unfortunately as women & especially Christian women we learn to wear the mask of okayness… This very sadly is endemic in the church globally…
When I lost my third child, then my fourth child, then my late husband to brain cancer the mask became tighter, tighter & tighter 🙁 Now living with chronic health conditions the mask no longer had its hold, it was flung off a while ago but I still find it hanging around within certain Christian circles…mmmmm!
You’re most welcome to join me for a cuppa,
Thank you Jennifer. I appreciate your thoughts and comment. God bless!
This was very touching. I believe we have all had moments where we are not as okay as we thought we were. I liked that you included the 5 steps in your post. These are very helpful and sometimes life saving as well. Thank you so much for sharing, and whatever you are dealing with, I pray that God holds you and strengthens you through this time.
Thank you Angela! ?
Thank you so much. It is helpful for me in my own hard situation. I translated it to Dutch.
Ariteth, I’m so glad you found encouragement here! Thank you for your comment and for noting that you had it translated. ? God bless!
I love your 5 steps to take when you are at the breaking point. The hardest ones for me are admitting I am at my breaking point and asking for help. Your wisdom is timely as I feel I am heading in that direction if I don’t make some changes.
Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.
I’m praying for you Maree… ?
This post is filled with practical wisdom we all know when we are not at our breaking point, yet we often forget when we are at that point. Having felt this way (maybe even recently), it was so good to admit it to God and spend concentrated time in my Bible, in prayer, and with my worship music. I am always amazed at how He lightens the load. Blessings!
Visiting from Tune in Thursday. I am right there with you in this! These are reminders I need today. Now, to just put them into action… Thank you for sharing a great post. So glad to be your neighbor!
Thank you Cheryl! So glad you stopped by!