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It’s OK not to be OK


By Pooja Marwah

The latest words trending are Positivity, Focussing on Yourself, Feeling Happiness but, in the real world, are we really supposed to always be chirpy and positive even though we are at rock bottom?

Toxic positivity is being channelled towards us at a pace faster than a raging tsunami. It forces us to dispel thoughts and feelings of emotional pain and trauma and to feel gratitude. It teaches us to channelise the positive energy inside us because we alone control our happiness… But isn’t this itself a toxic waste of energy?

It is okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel the hurt, for grief can only be overcome if it is allowed to be dealt with. There are moments in life when you find yourself grappling with things that hurt and instead of pretending to be fine and moving along in a zombie state, wouldn’t it be better if you allowed yourself to feel the hurt and then learn to manage it, instead of pushing it under the rug?

Emotions aren’t permanent. They are momentary fleeting glimpses that we pass through in our life. So, no matter how you feel, the only thing you truly have to believe is that it will pass. So enjoy it or cry it out… both are mere temporary feelings. You need the negative to balance out the positive just as you need the weeds to enjoy the flowers.

As a parent, I too relied on pretence so I could appear to be strong in front of the kids but what I did was send out an incorrect message – No matter what happens, you have to be strong.

As a spouse, I chose to shove my feelings under the duvet instead of showing my vulnerability and what that did was – tell the love of my life that I didn’t consider him worthy enough of helping me through my low days.

As a woman, I opted to hide behind my false ego as I didn’t want to be seen as weak… And what that did was simply take away my free-spirited will to live!

Life is not going to go according to plan but we still scribble away on our planners. We schedule meetings, dates, and holidays and give ourselves something to look forward to. And when it doesn’t pan out as expected, we put on a face and say – It’s ok, things happen for a reason!

But it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel let down or sad. It is normal to feel emotions that make us anxious or add to our wrinkles, for in the end, the only way to feel truly alive is to be able to grasp what you feel and let it flow through you.

Medically, toxic positivity is regarded as an obsession with positive thinking, no matter how dire the circumstance. It is considered to be an addiction that feeds the human mind with fake reassurances. It puts undue pressure on people to always remain positive when inwards they may be grappling with severe depressive streaks. This confuses the mind and the body for where they generally work in sync, the mind is under pressure to feel the pain, and the body is under duress to show it’s fine! Eventually, the imbalance happens and that’s when mental trauma seeps in.

Life doesn’t come with a direction manual but it does give us another day to retry and to rework on our journey.

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes on contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myriad struggles we face each day.)