Lets talk about this summer. We had fires. Not campfires, real and dangerous forest fires. BC was in a State of Emergency. Our homes were in danger. We were evacuated with a reality of never seeing our houses and items in them again. Many homes burned. Our neighbors, our family, our friends. Some were evacuated more than once, as the fires travelled quickly.
I have several friends that had to leave due to the town being evacuated and deserted. Nowhere to get groceries and other necessities. Trying to get funding for food and accommodations because of this was beyond frustrating. I won’t lie here. I won’t sugarcoat it. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what each family received. One would get $300 for a family of 6 and the next would get $600 for a family of 2.
Constant updates on Facebook. The rumors. This town is burning, no it isn’t. There’s a new fire, no there isn’t. We’d like to think the updates were informative but in reality, they caused a lot of STRESS.
Coming home, we could view the damage that was done. Burned trees and grass and houses. Kilometers of dirt where nature used to be. Fires still blazing in the distance. The threat of being evacuated again once we were back in our homes.
Let’s get serious for a second. The deaths. Suicides and attempted suicides by both adults and children. I can’t even. Not only is this devastating for the victims, but also the families and friends and first responders.
Sudden deaths by car accidents and disease. There is never any way to prepare for death whether you see it coming or not.
Deaths of animals, so many animals. I can count on both my hands how many friends of mine had deaths of animals this summer.
My point in all of this is that it’s okay to not be okay. Let me say that again. It is OKAY to NOT be OKAY. We all deal with stress and tragedy differently. Don’t let anyone take the way you feel away from you. Whether it’s happiness or darkness, own those feelings. They are yours and they are okay to feel.
It is also okay to get help. It’s okay to see a counselor and it’s okay to seek medication. Go easy on yourself. No pressure. We get enough judgments from other people, we don’t need to judge ourselves. Find time to do self care, whether that means a bath or just going for a walk. Just be.
It’s okay to not be okay.