Finding My Way to Okay

“OK” (/oʊkeɪ/; also spelled “okay” or “ok”) is an English word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, or acknowledgment. “OK” has frequently turned up as a loanword in many other languages and has been described as the world’s most widely understood word. As an adjective, “OK” principally means “adequate” or “acceptable” as a contrast to “bad”

When I started this blog, I wanted nothing more than to be okay. I wanted to walk around feeling alright about my life, and myself, and my actions. I wanted my body to be okay, and my mind to be okay. I didn’t want to be so tired anymore. I wanted to be able to accept things as they were.

At the time, I wasn’t able to do that. At least not very well. I wasn’t really okay when I first got sober. I was teetering along the thin line of being okay and being not-so-okay. I didn’t ever want to admit that I wasn’t okay, though. I wanted nothing more than to seem okay, if only for the sake of looking okay. For the sake of fooling everyone around me, including myself.

But I wasn’t okay. I really wasn’t. And I was tired of lying to myself and tired of lying to others about it. So after I got sober, I started putting the pressure on myself to “be better.” I kept thinking that I should be doing more than I was. I was so desperate to start feeling okay that I would even take a compromise: I would accept feeling “okay-ish” at first, for as long as it took, until I finally felt okay.

When I started this blog, I was okay with being okay-ish. I was fine with not quite making it to the good stuff, so long as I could make it through the bad. I wasn’t even sure what being okay looked like anymore.

Was it a stable-if-not-slightly-static relationship where I didn’t have to worry about emotional outbursts – or, really, very many emotions at all?

Was it making it through yet another mini existential crisis during my midday lunch break?

Was it reaching a point where I didn’t want to punch a wall and cry at the same time, for no reason at all?

Was it getting past the point of crying about how much I missed my cats, or about feeling bad for all the boyfriends I ever broke up with?

Was it not always feeling the need to get up from my desk, leave my office, drive away and never look back?

Was it actually doing a decent job at completing my homework?

Was it being satisfied with the way things were, even though nothing would ever be perfect?

I didn’t know what I was looking for. Sometimes I feel like I still don’t know. It seems like I keep stumbling around in the dark, looking for the light switch that is going to turn the “okay” light back on. And I get frustrated, but my sobriety keeps me stable on my feet as I paw at the walls. It steadies my hand and encourages me to keep searching. Sobriety knows the light is there. I just have to learn to keep trusting it as I struggle my way through the dark.

For now, though, I think I’m finally okayish. I’m learning how to see in the dark and find beauty there as well. I’ve become more comfortable with the idea that I might be here for a while, in this dark with sobriety acting as my guide toward the switch. Hell, I might even be okay with never getting the light on – eventually. Or maybe I’ll start to adjust my eyes accordingly, and learn how to see without the help of someone or something else shining a light.

I could go on, but it’s late and I’m tired. And hey… I’m okay with that.


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