A letter to myself and anyone else who is not okay


I think it might be time to take stock. To think about the things that are tricky. The things you want to ignore and brush under the carpet.

I say this because, as you well know, acknowledgement is the first step. You have to see it before you can do anything about it.

And the truth is:

You are not okay right now, and that is okay.

Honestly, it is.

You feel low. And that’s okay. You don’t have to be great all the time.

You are allowed to have a bad week, or month. It doesnt necessarily mean another crash is on the way. (In fact this time I am almost sure it doesn’t.) It means you are tired, and January is rough, and life is probably a bit too busy.

I know you think these feelings makes you weak, or a failure. But your mood is not an indicator of your worth. Your worth was set already, and it was decided you are precious. (We all are).

The fact you feel this way does not reveal a lack, it reveals a humanity.

You were designed to feel, not to hide or pretend.

Okay, so it cannot be denied you are pretty aware of your feelings, maybe more than most. Your skin is thin, translucent even. You bruise easily. But that is how you were made.

That is your gift.

You see through the surface, and describe what it feels like to be human here and now.

You put words to feelings. That is what you do.

And you have learnt how to deal with this fragility, it is not damaging anymore, it has become your strength. You needn’t fear it.

And you needn’t fear this tough patch, this sadness that has been hanging around.

Feeling low now does not undo the past two years of good mental health and stability.

These past two years have been the best you can remember but they were not perfect. They were the best because of how you dealt with the unexpected and the difficult. You have known the proximity of anxiety but it has not consumed you. You have experienced pain but have become strong, learnt how to handle it and how to heal. You have known fear but your courage has taught you to see it for what it is and offer yourself the compassion and time you need.

These ‘best’ years have been about being honest with yourself. They have been about loving you as you are, in the moment, about not hiding and growing self-confidence.

‘Best’ is always about self-compassion and kindness and grace.

Sometimes you have to listen to your own wisdom, not just let it dissipate like steam from a kettle. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the truth you know.

This is one of those times.

And so it is totally okay that you are not okay right now.

That is part of it all. Being truly you. It all exists and it is all welcome.

It will pass. The blue will lift, you know it will. For now do the things you know to do.

Cancel things often. Read words of life and hope, poetry is good right now. Get to bed early and spend less time on your phone. Go outside whenever you can and the weather is fine (or even when it isn’t). Put yourself in the way of people who make you laugh. Maybe book to see your therapist, she will be kind and you will be relieved. Be consistent with your meds. Watch a bit more Mad Men. Eat well and watch the caffeine and the alcohol. Read that novel you have been saving. Eat more fruit.

A mix of self-discipline to make good choices and the freedom to indulge. That is what you need.

Do the things you know to do.

You are not okay, and that is okay. You will be again.

Love, me xx

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  • Debbie
    Posted at 11:58h, 30 January Reply

    Yup, I’ll take that today, thanks Elli. This post was like a big hug. A “you’ll be ok” hug.

    • ElliJohnson
      Posted at 17:07h, 30 January Reply


  • Wendy
    Posted at 12:51h, 30 January Reply

    Elli, thanks for what you’ve written, for its wisdom and it’s honesty. I hope that you continue to feel the cloud lifting. Natural, seasonal Spring is on the horizon and I hope mental Spring is on the horizon for you. X

    • ElliJohnson
      Posted at 17:06h, 30 January Reply

      Spring for my mental health – I like that idea. Thank you xx

  • LJ
    Posted at 16:26h, 30 January Reply

    Thanks Elli. Really struggling lately so this really spoke to me. Struggling with a pain I’m waiting to have investigated and so it is scary as well as just persistently uncomfortable. Scared of what they will find. Tired. Doing too much. May we both find uplift and healing.

    • ElliJohnson
      Posted at 17:06h, 30 January Reply

      Peace to you friend. Hope you manage to rest while you wait. Much love xx

  • Li
    Posted at 13:59h, 02 February Reply

    Thanks for sharing, I am a big advocate of letters to oneself a have written many when I was struggling. Writing to the third person brings out that loving parent part of you, providing so much reassurance and warmth.
    I love the picture of the little robin… He is so small and fragile, but beautiful and funnily also emanates strength in a way that only natural wisdom can.
    Wishing you all the best in these cold months

    • ElliJohnson
      Posted at 14:02h, 02 February Reply

      Thank you so much. I love the little robin too. I took the photo on a walk with 8 kids and 3 adults (one of who was me). All the kids were silent watching him and beckoning me to get a photo. It was a good moment!

  • Kate
    Posted at 00:45h, 07 February Reply

    I was scrolling through Pinterest, repinning stuff on an almost autopilot when I saw this. And I just wanted to tell you how much I deeply appreciate what you’ve written, especially when you said I have to listen to my own wisdom and not let it dissipate like a steam from a kettle. Thank you so much for writing this, Elli.

    xx Kate | https://allthetrinkets.wordpress.com

  • Ariel butler
    Posted at 21:34h, 29 November Reply

    Thank you for this! I love this message. I hope you don’t mind but I put a link to it in one of my blog posts. I want everyone to see your message.

  • Sheery
    Posted at 02:20h, 11 April Reply

    Many people are going through it, especially after dealing with the pandemic and going through isolation and losing their jobs. I think a lot of people are not okay but brave a smile on every day and ignore that they are not okay. I was just reading a great read ghat I would love to hear your thoughts on, https://www.ez.insure/landing/2022/04/its-ok-to-not-be-ok/ .

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