A couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I got the amazing, life changing news that we have an opportunity to relocate to Cambridge, UK (from Cape Town, South Africa). We felt pure excitement about the news until the emotions kicked in.
I wanted to be strong for our mothers, who were both over the moon happy for us, but sad to see us go. So, as they cried, I stayed strong in an attempt to console them. Being the constant rock of the family has always been my coping mechanism.
Eventually one, not so small, incident caused me to break down completely. I had the misfortune to see a man get hit by a minibus taxi. The man survived and was able to get up and walk away, but seeing his bloodied leg and face, did not help my fragile state. My emotions were crushed further when the pool of onlookers did not bother to help the man and the police department whom I phoned (multiple times) to report the incident, just hanged up on me.
As soon as I got home to Aaron, I just broke down.
My thoughts were fast and emotional: How could people not care about life or each other? How could the police not want to help me or the people they swore to protect? In that moment my faith in humanity was crushed and it all just spiraled out of control with me ending up in a state of emotional exhaustion!
I woke up the next day, barely able to get out of bed, feeling as if I had a severe case of the flu. My system completely shut down.
Aaron insisted that I stay in bed that day, but I knew I could not as I had work to do. So, I only stayed in bed a short while longer.
I realised what was going on, I was not sick, I was just not OK. I was emotionally drained and exhausted.
The moment I admitted this to Aaron, it was as if a massive weight, from years of being told I have to always have it together and be strong, lifted off of me. I immediately shared my revelation with a friend, and again, I felt free, light-hearted and my joy was being restored.
I then realized the liberation that comes with just being honest and being real.
I was able to get up, put a smile on my face, stock up on some extra vitamins for that day and head to the office for 4 hours of productive work after which I left early, not because I was ill, but just because I was not feeling OK.
I finished that day feeling completely like myself again, with a massive smile on my face and had a killer weekend. All because I was honest, with myself, my husband, my friends and my boss.
I was not feeling OK and that was OK, because I am human and I have emotions and feelings and had been going through a tough time and I didn’t have to hide it.
It was OK for me to not be OK.